Neal Porter. Oct. 2021. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823447121.
PreS-Gr 2–Seeger masterfully draws readers into the unique, powerful link between emotion and color through her story of a lost red fox meeting human-made barriers on his journey home. She infuses different values of red into immersive, wooded landscapes to tell of the trying, increasingly distressing moments the fox faces on his journey. Textured with visible brushstrokes, Red expresses a myriad of strong emotions, from longing, pain, and rage to a final contrast conveying the warmth of kindness in an example of a young girl’s care for the fox’s freedom. Two-word phrases unobtrusively accompany most of the fully painted spreads to offer a direct means to name the type of red, or the emotional draw, within each scene, but the reader’s eye will remain unhurried, carefully finding and “feeling” each hue.
VERDICT Wrapped in the heavy, honest tensions between color and emotion, Seeger emboldens children to connect with the young fox’s story and feel the raw consequence of humans’ indifferent influence on the environment.

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