Friday, January 9, 2015

Lasting Color

Marla Frazee is not shy about using colors. Just look at All the World (written by Liz Ganlon) and A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever (which she wrote as well as illustrated), both Caldecott Honor books. But in her latest book, The Farmer and the Clown, the absence of words and her sparing use of color highlight the shift a little clown makes in a farmer's life. The clown introduces not only color, but also a new perspective--even a sense of joy--to the farmer's seemingly ceaseless routine.

Interiors from The Farmer and the Clown
The colors of the train traveling on the tracks at the edge of the farmer's property telegraph "circus": fun, entertainment, escape from the daily grind. The little treasure the train inadvertently leaves behind ripples through the farmer's world, disrupting his daily rhythms in the best possible way. The farmer, usually dressed in a crisp white shirt and earth-colored pants, wears red pajamas, suggesting he only lets go at day's end. And boy, does that toddler clown give him permission to let go--making faces, juggling eggs, packing a picnic basket.

In the parting images, Frazee lets readers know that the clown has made a lasting impact on the farmer--he will carry the joy he shared with the little clown always.

No comments:

Post a Comment