Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color (Julia Denos)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color by Julia Denos, the story of a color whisperer learning a lesson about the importance of freedom.

Swatch is a little girl who loves colors, and the colors love her right back. They bend and twist and dance around her, and she wrangles them with her sweet demeanor and wild energy. She hunts the most vivid shades when she can: Bravest Green only appears in the first week of March, and In-Between Gray resides on her kitten’s leg. The colors come and go freely, until Swatch decides to capture Just-Laid Blue in a jar. She begins to collect all her colors in jars, and while they still love Swatch, they begin to grow restless without room to roam and dance as they once did. At last, Swatch hunts down Yellowest Yellow, the first color to ask what she intends on doing. When Swatch describes life in a jar, Yellow politely declines – that’s no life for it. Swatch understands, and watches as Yellow grows and twists into a giant, magical beast and Swatch, realizing her mistake, calls to her colors to free themselves from their jars and fly free once again.

Charming and magical. Swatch and her colors explode from each page with bright, joyous energy, creating a modern fairytale world that feels like a window into a child’s imagination. And while the art pulls plenty of focus, the text holds its own with a sure, whimsical yet exhilarating storyline. And the lesson is timeless: to love something is to let it be free to be itself. JJ went wild for the art, and the length was just right. A lovely fable for any fan of color, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

Windows (Julia Denos)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Windows, written by Julia Denos and illustrated by E.B. Goodale, a lovely twilight meditation on people and community.

When you look at your window as the sun goes down, at just the right time, you will begin to see a light show coming to life. As the dark of night begins to take the sky, people turn on their lights, and you can stroll through the neighborhood (with trusty pup in tow) and look at the glimpses into the lives of others that their windows provide. The warm glow of their lights show people watching tv, doing yoga, learning to dance. They cook dinner, play together, practice musical instruments. They are families and friends and people living their lives, just like you and I. Some windows are dark, and waiting to be filled with stories of their own. And there’s no better window than the one filled with the ones you love, who welcome you home with a kiss, a cuddle, and a bedtime story.

What a lovely little book! Following a little boy as he walks his dog through his town at dusk, the sincere, contemplative text combines with gorgeous sunset-colored illustrations to tell a story of childhood curiosity and community. There’s a wonderful nostalgic quality as well (who didn’t spend time in their youth catching glimpses of other people’s homes through their windows and wondering about the inhabitants?). The length is great, and JJ and I both really enjoyed the peaceful story and the beautiful art. We loved this one, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!