The Importance of Green by Leonie Agnew, ill. Trevor Pye, Puffin Books
This clever and colourful picture book can work on several levels. There’s the basic storyline which describes what happens when Liam runs out of green paint - chaos. And - if you want it to - it could also be used to support discussions of the importance of the natural environment. When Liam uses up his green paint, he starts painting blue grass and yellow grasshoppers - but his scenes come to life and everything goes wrong. Seagulls crash-land on the grass, people refuse to drink blue milk, and insects have nowhere to hide. Thank goodness - Liam discovers that by mixing his blue and yellow paints he can restore green to its rightful importance. Finally, there’s a colour wheel at the back which enables the book to support a study of colours.
Fittingly, Trevor Pye’s cartoon illustrations are full of vivid colour, interesting perspectives and non-stop action, so the book would make a good read-aloud for a group. The cover shouts at you (in green, naturally) - it’s sure to attract the attention of the intended age level. Recommended for children of about four to six, particularly those who like throwing a bit of paint around. This one’s perfect for my 5-year-old grandson...See Inside the book here
Leonie Agnew is an award winning children's author, a former advertising copy writer, and currently moonlighting as a primary school teacher. In 2013, Leonie won the University of Otago Children's Writer in Residence. For her book 'Super Finn' she won: New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards 2012 Junior Fiction Prize, Best First Book, and Children's Choice (Junior Fiction Category winner), Storylines Notable Book Award 2012, LIANZA Children's Book Awards 2012, Finalist Esther Glen Award, Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award 2010; and the Storylines Joy Cowley Award finalist for The Importance of Green. ISBN 978 0 143 50571 6 RRP $19.99 PbReviewed by Lorraine Orman