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Reviews for Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color

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Kirkus

Swatch is a color whisperer. On bright white backgrounds, "in a place where colors ran wild," Swatch—skinny, almond-eyed, and peach-skinned, with a striped shirt and ever changing headbands—tames swaths of color as if they're animals. She bends and leaps, creeps and crouches; she stands on a fire hydrant and stretches impossibly upward to reach inky blue sky. Colors gush and burst around her—are they emanating from her hands and brushes or borne on the breeze? She hunts them wherever they are: "Bravest Green shot up the first week of March," while "In-Between Gray lived on her kitten's leg." Denos' text is fierce and crisp, her color-characters wondrous. Using a tight range of hue with spellbinding shapes and textures in watercolor, ink, and pencil, she creates a blue squall swirling with movement, simultaneously watery, sharp, and gusting. A yellow yawns and billows, part wind, part fox, part sunlight—but also purring and buttery. Despite Swatch's label as a "tamer," the colors all live free, visiting her of their own accord—"until the day she lured Just-Laid Blue straight from its nest and into a jam jar." Now she's trapping colors in glass jars, where they circle restlessly. But Yellowest Yellow, the last uncaptured color, shines bright on a sidewalk flower; they converse, and Swatch remembers about freedom. For color wranglers and windblown spirits everywhere. (Picture book. 4-7)

School Library Journal

In this beautifully illustrated picture book, children are introduced to the idea that wild things should be wild. Readers follow the title character, Swatch, as she catches and tames hues. With surrealist imagery and swirling colors, the artwork draws readers in. The message underlying the stunning images asks kids to consider how we should treat wild things. While the text is at times moralizing, the balance of the overall work is excellent. The pace at which the story unfolds is quick enough to keep children’s attention while slow enough to beg the pondering of the work’s larger themes. The high-quality value and gradation of the color pull children into Swatch’s world. While the text at times seems to jump across the page, it generally adds to the tone. This is also a wonderful choice for vocabulary building. The composition and flow allow the pictures to shine, while gently pushing readers forward. VERDICT The gorgeous illustrations are enough to recommend this title, but the sweet message makes it a must-read; a great read-aloud. –Lauren Lancaster, Crafton Public Library, Pittsburgh