Skip to main content

Pomelo Explores Color by Ramona Bădescu, illustrated by Benjamin Chaud

In August of 2011 Enchanted Lion Books published Pomelo Begins to Grow written by Ramona Bădescu and illustrated by Benjamin Chaud, to great reviews. Writing for the New York Times Book Review, Bruce Handy said that Pomelo Begins to Grow is "funny, smart and idiosyncratic, graceful and intuitive in a way that feels as much dreamed as written." Pomelo is a tiny, pink garden elephant who realizes he is bigger than an ant. This discovery sets of a chain of philosophical questions and and quest for experience, all delightfully, lushly illustrated with great imagination by Chaud. Pomelo is such an endearing elephant, and his creators, Bădescu and Chaud are so creative and clever with him, that, while you may think you do not need another book about colors for you child, Pomelo Explores Color will change your mind. And, to make this book completely, irresistibly charming, the trim size is a small, chunky little square, perfect for slipping into pockets and backpacks.

Really, Pomelo Explores Color is more of a poetic mediation than the teaching book you might expect it to be. Because of this, it is also a perfect read-out that will no doubt inspire conversation and creativity. The book begins, "When everything begins to seem black and white, Pomelo looks around and suddenly rediscovers... The silent white of the blank page... The infinite white of winter... The foamy white of hot milk... The comforting white of his favorite dandelion...."

Bădescue continues through the spectrum in this meaningful, meandering way, making some wonderful connections, all of which are brought to life by Chaud's sometimes kooky vision and the little pink garden elephant. From the "always different yellow of wee-wee" and the "mustard-yellow pang that goes up your nose" to the "speeding orange of shredded carrots," the "promising red of ripening strawberries" and "mysterious blue of dreams," Pomelo takes us down a varied path. 
 My favorite chain of colors descriptors comes near the end of the book with grey. Bădescu makes her way from the "green-grey of rot," which is accompanied by an illustration of half a lemon that is being taken over by the dusty grey-green-white powdery mold to the "deflating grey of disappointment," by way of the "silver-grey of pencil sketches," past the "grey of things you can't quite remember" to the "happy grey of rain," as seen above.

More Pomelo books that might someday make 
their way across the Atlantic in translation:

Source: Review Copy


Momand Kiddo said…
We recently bought this at a book fair and my 3 year old really loves it. I had never even heard of it before I saw it at the fair.
Tanya said…
Wow! POMELO was at a book fair!?! That's great! I hope you look for the other POMELO book!

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…