I had to squeeze in one book review about markers and so I will end with the giant of children’s picture book writers, Robert Munsch. In Purple, Green and Yellow he latches onto a subject familiar to us all, children who just can’t stop coloring on the walls or the floors or themselves.
Brigid wants washable coloring markers like all of her friends use. Her mother buys her 500. She is bored with these after a week and then demands markers that smell like all of her friends use. Her mother buys 500 for her. After a week she is bored and asks for the “super-indelible-never-come-off-till-your-dead-and-maybe-even-later like all of her friends use. She feels completely entitled to this because she has not written on the walls, floors, or herself. Her mother buys 500 for her.
When she becomes bored, she colors her fingernails, her hands, her face, and then her entire body. Of course, none of the markers will wash off. Brigid, however, is a smart girl and seems to come up with a viable solution. But things spiral out of control in a typical Munsch way.
As with most of his books, Munsch’s zany exploration of markers is meant to be taken lightly. The humor builds up to a slightly shocking and laughable ending. I do believe that this book could be subtly used to tackle some important topics. The book brooches the subjects of craving, consumerism, deceit, and entitlement.
Hélène Desputeaux’s brightly colored illustrations, which seem to be done with markers, suit the text well. There is a gleeful insanity about the hundreds of markers surrounding a bored child. This is one of Munsch’s humorous books about defiant children that actually carries a good message as well.
* * *