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*Sylvie* by Jennifer Sattler
Also by Jennifer Sattler:

Pig Kahuna
by Jennifer Sattler
Ages 3-5 40 pages Random House May 2009 Hardcover    

When Sylvie looks around at her family, all she sees is pink. Sylvie has never considered her own color until she takes a close look at her family and compares them to the people she sees on the beach: her family is pink, whereas the people on the beach are all different colors.

When she discovers it’s her diet of shrimp that turns her pink, she decides to experiment with her meals. She finds out it’s easy to turn green by nibbling on a leaf; she can turn purple by eating grapes, and if she eats a little bit of towel or a swimsuit, she’ll quickly resemble not only the color but also the pattern on the fabric. By varying her diet, Sylvie discovers what it feels like to stand out in a crowd.

Sylvie loves changing colors. She kicks her legs up when she’s brown, she flaps her wings and dances when she’s scarlet, and she hugs herself when she’s green and flowery. But by the time she turns purple and paisley, her stomach begins to ache. The pieces of kite, bathing suit, towel and painting she’s eaten aren’t agreeing with her digestive system, and her new multi-colored look makes her feel distant from her family.

Sylvie wasn’t happy being pink all over, and she wasn’t happy being multicolored all over, but she is happy with the new look that pops up after her lollipop dessert.

Sylvie is a bubblegum-pink flamingo. Her legs are long, her beak is white and black, and her eyebrows go up and down with her moods. When she’s thinking, she places her wings on her hips; when she’s feeling unsure of herself, her knobby knees turn inward. Sylvie’s story takes place on the beach surrounded beach visitors of all ages. The sky is filled with blues, pinks or oranges, and the sand with a mix of browns, oranges and yellows.

Author/illustrator Jennifer Sattler uses the swirls of color on the endpapers in a similar way throughout the story whenever Sylvie is posing in her new color. When Sylvie starts to feel bad in the story, instead of darkening the colors, Sattler makes Sylvie’s feelings evident by changing the way she sits, walks, and lies down. She slumps on a beach ball; when she walks, her wings, eyes and once-perky head feathers all look lifeless. When she lies down, her tongue hangs out and her limbs sprawl apart in an X.

Sattler graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a BFA in painting and from Indiana University’s Hope School of Fine Arts with a MFA. She lives in New York with her family.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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