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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
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*        = Good, with reservations


*****Yellow & Pink

by William Steig

Reviewed May 15, 2003.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2003.  First published in 1984.  32 pages.
Available at Sembach Library  (E STE).
A Sonderbooks’ Stand-out of 2003:  #3, New Picture Books

My response to this picture book was to hand it to each member of my family and ask them to read it.  This beautiful fable by William Steig is clever, delightful and powerful.

Yellow and Pink are two wooden men lying in the sun on an old newspaper.  They wake up and begin to ponder the age-old questions, “Who am I?  Why am I here?”

Pink believes that someone must have made them.  Yellow doesn’t see how anyone could have made something so intricate and perfect as they.  Wouldn’t they have known if someone had made them?  No, he comes up with a complicated scenario in which he just happened to be created as a branch broke from a tree and rolled down a hill and was pecked by woodpeckers.  Unlikely, maybe, but a lot of strange things can happen in millions of years.  The fact that Pink is painted differently just goes to show that it must all be accidental.

They decide to quit arguing.  Then a man comes along and picks them up.  He mutters that they’re now nice and dry.  Yellow and Pink don’t have any idea who he is.

This is a beautiful fable in that it never comes out and says it’s a fable.  If you believe that it’s much more logical for an intricate design to have a Designer, this is the perfect book to explain those ideas to your children.  Beautifully done and delightful.

Reviews of other books by William Steig:
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Pete's a Pizza

Review of a book about William Steig:
The World of William Steig, by Lee Lorenz

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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