Little Critter Colors by Mercer Mayer – Book Review

Little Critter Colors by Mercer MayerAlthough Arya’s favorite book is still the one printed exclusively in black and white, she has shown more interest in bright colors over the past few weeks.

The front cover of Little Critter Colors by Mercer Mayer shows Mayer’s famous Little Critter wielding a paintbrush against a multi-colored background.

The book introduces different colors to young readers. Each pair of pages is focused on one particular color. Eleven different colors are presented throughout the book: red, orange, yellow, green, brown, blue, purple, gray, violet, white, black.

Mayer selected an odd choice of colors for a children’s book. The distinction between gray and black is clear, but the inclusion of purple and violet is confusing.

Adults will have a hard time differentiating between the page with purple grapes versus the page with violet flowers. I had to rely on the internet to find that violet is a spectral color (as on a rainbow) whereas purple is a simply a mixture of red and blue light.

Kids who are too young to read will not care about the nuances of spectral colors. For a book about colors to include two nearly identical–even if technically different–colors is confusing.

Aside from the problematic choice of colors, Little Critters Colors is a cute book. Each picture makes full use of the specified color with the hedgehog-like critter interacting with his environment in a different way on each page.

For all but the last page, text is limited to a single word on each set of pages. Arya liked looking at all the pictures and seemed especially interested in the objects I pointed at throughout the book. Children who are old enough to read will be quickly bored, but younger kids who are just beginning to learn their colors will appreciate the book.

Mercer Mayer is an artist and children’s book author who is best known for his Little Critter series. Mayer has both a personal art website (www.mercermayer.com) and a website dedicated to his famous character (www.littlecritter.com).

Little Critter Colors costs (including shipping) $6.95 new and over $7 used from Amazon.