Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review of A Color Game for Chester Raccoon

Audrey Penn's beloved Chester Raccoon returns in her latest picture book, A Color Game for Chester Raccoon. Unlike her previous books featuring the young forest creature, this book doesn't teach a life lesson. Instead, its goal is to simply teach colors by using familiar characters and fun, rhyming text.

Chester Raccoon has a fun game that he likes to play every day with his friends. It's a sort of "I Spy" that focuses on different colors. He plays this game with his younger brother, Ronny, his best friend Cassie (whose name has changed spellings in this book for some reason), the badger (who is no longer a bully) and his Owl Teacher.

The rhyming text makes it fun to read out loud to young children and will engage their attention. Color words are presented in boldface to make them stand out more from the text. I would have loved it if they could have been actually printed in that color, instead of all in black. Doing so allows children to better associate the color with its name.

At the end of the book, children are invited to go back through it and to play the Color Game with Chester. Adults who read it with young children could turn it into a game from the very first time they read it. Then, apply it to your every day life to help your child learn about colors in her environment.

I shared this book with younger children, as well as older children. The older children were disappointed by the lack of a storyline and less vibrant pictures than in the previous Chester Raccoon stories. Younger children, who may not be as familiar with those classic storybooks, still enjoyed this book. It makes for a good introduction to Chester Raccoon and his friends and is more geared toward that toddler and preschool age group, anyway. It would make a good addition to any early childhood library.

I received a complimentary set of galleys from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my review.

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