Written and Illustrated by Jennifer Sattler
Random House, 2009
One morning, Sylvie looked at her family. Then she looked around at everything else.
Previously Reviewed Books from this Author: Chick ‘n’ Pug
Sylvie asks her mother why she and all the other flamingos are pink. Her mother responds that it’s due to the color of the shrimp they eat, which gives Sylvie an idea. So she nibbles on a green palm leaf and instantly turns the same shade of green. This continues through the book, with Sylvie trying on different colors and patterns until her bizarre diet gets the best of her and she realizes she no longer feels like herself. She goes back to eating shrimp and the final picture shows us that she occasionally treats herself to a little multi-colored dessert.
Author/illustrator Jennifer Sattler has written a wonderful story about finding the balance between honoring the things you have in common with your family and expressing your own style. She makes Sylvie a lovable character and you never feel that she is disrespecting her family by trying on different colors. I love the way she sneaks little bites of so many different things to take on their characteristics and the drawings of her dealing with all the changes at once are very funny.
This is the perfect story to showcase Ms. Sattler’s artwork, which is bursting with color and texture. Some pictures show Sylvie in the seaside landscape and others just show her on a page of a coordinating color, which serves to make her new look even more dramatic and pronounced. The ending is perfect, with Sylvie back to her original pink, but with a touch of color, showing us that she’s learned the importance of balance.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that expressing your individuality is wonderful, but never let it overwhelm who you truly are.