Green, written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, focuses on giving this particular color of the rainbow that signifies life itself flourishing the credit it deserves. With thick smeared paints on textured backgrounds and die cuts, as well as shapes cut into the pages themselves, she has produced with this book an ode to the beauty of the natural world and the hues that form the base of our earth.
What’s is Green About?
Well obviously it’s about the color green-at least right off the bat- but the more you read the more you realize it is much, much more than just that. It is showing the interconnectedness of the world, the green of the forest becomes the green of the sea which in turn becomes the green of a blade of grass.
The book starts off with a woodland scene. You may not spot them at first (I actually didn’t) but there’s two little fish cut-outs on the left hand side of the page. When you flip to the next page you are looking at a rich ocean scene, a sea turtle blowing bubbles lazily accompanied by a shoal of fish (and two cut-out ones.) The bubbles are cut-outs as well, and when you turn the page they become the pock-marks in a lime. I flipped back and forth between the pages a few times to try and figure out how I missed the first few die cuts, so cleverly are they incorporated and so brilliant is Seeger’s painting.
Is The Message About What I Think It’s About?
Her book definitely presents a particular message about the environment and how we should regard it, which is a good subject to raise awareness on these days, but it’s subtle. Very subtle. The book does, in fact, end with a young boy who plants a tree and watches it grow and then the words “forever green.” But Laura Seeger could have taken this book all the way and had the message whack us over the head like a two by four to pound home a message of environmental awareness, However, she shows a great display of literary restraint instead and her message is clear but only to those who open their eyes and decide to take away from it. The scene that says “no green” is not a polluted wasteland with smoke stacks and human’s driving their cars choking out smog, but rather a quiet winter scene, the world blanketed in snow. Then come the only wordless pages in the book, in which we see the young boy as he plants a tree. It is in the wordlessness that there is a strong message, but again, only if one chooses to see it or take it away.
The Artwork of Green
Laura Vaccaro Seeger uses thick, luscious paints swirled and smeared over textured backgrounds and die cuts to make her illustrations. They are absolutely marvelous. This isn’t some dull color book that rambles on about everything that’s green, displaying a bunch of leaves or some such on a plain white background. Here we delve into the greens of the world-lime green and forest green and sea green and faded green. Wacky green, glow greens, slow green and shaded green. Each page has a beautiful blend of colors, and if you look closely you can see every detail and brushstroke on the artwork Laura Seeger has painted. The die cuts too make for fascinating illustrations. They blend perfectly from page to page and it’s a wonder how Seeger did them so flawlessly.