Reviews for Hello, Red Fox


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 April 1998
Ages 5^-8. Before the story begins, readers are instructed to stare at a dot inside a red heart for 10 seconds, then transfer their gaze to the opposite blank page. On that empty page, the heart shape reappears, but it is green, the opposite or complementary color. The very slight story is really just a reason to explore this phenomenon. Little Frog invites Red Fox, Purple Butterfly, Orange Cat, and others to his birthday party, but when they arrive, Mama Frog observes that the fox is green, not red, and the butterfly is yellow, not purple, and so on. In each case, Little Frog instructs his mother to examine the image of the animal, then look at the blank opposite page where the guest appears in the true color. The required "looking" time disrupts the flow of the story, but as an experiment, it is great fun. Facing the title page, there's a brief history and explanation of Goethe's Farbenlehre, or color theory, but curious children will want to know more than the information provided. A playful starting point for science discussions at home or at school, this is sure to intrigue children. ((Reviewed April 1, 1998)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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BookPage Reviews 1998 July
Eric Carle is the king of color in children's picture books. Starting with his illustrations for Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? in 1967 and continuing in his many inventive picture books such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Carle knows the secrets of entertaining and teaching young children with strong, bold pictures.His latest book, Hello, Red Fox, intrigues us from our first look at the bright green fox on the cover. Has Carle made a mistake? Did someone mix up his paints? Has he succumbed to color blindness? Not on your life! Carle combines a simple storyline and large uncluttered pictures to demonstrate a remarkable function of the human eye - the ability to see the image of an object in one color after looking at it in the complementary or opposite color. For example, if you view a green fox for about ten seconds, then quickly look at the opposite blank page, an image of a red fox appears.Three- to five-year-olds will like the story of Little Frog inviting his friends to his birthday party. As they arrive, he welcomes them by a name (purple butterfly, orange cat, green snake, blue fish, etc.) that looks wrong, at least at first glance, and Mama Frog is quick to correct her child. Little Frog's reply, "Oh, Mama, you have not looked long enough," encourages little ones to do just that. Then when they look at the blank opposite page, voila! Finally, Mama Frog catches on and joins the game with some opposites of her own.Carle was born in the U.S. in 1929, but his family returned to Germany in 1935, where he spent the years of World War II in a world of dull grays and browns. He returned to the U.S. in 1951, and worked as a graphic designer and commercial artist. The idea for Hello, Red Fox came from the discovery of another German, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (that's right, the same poet, novelist, and philosopher Goethe), who experienced this visual phenomenon with color in the late 1700s. After 20 years of research on color, Goethe determined that there are three primary colors and that each color has an opposite or complementary color. Thus, the color wheel originated.Although Carle tells the story of Goethe's discovery briefly on the copyright page, the book is really for children. Never mind that many adults will be entranced and may do a little more research themselves to discover "simultaneous contrast after-image." Yes, indeedy, that Eric Carle is a sly old fox.Reviewed by Etta Wilson. Copyright 1998 BookPage Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 1998
This simple story about Little Frog's birthday party introduces Goethe's theory of complementary colors. Left-hand pages feature an animal: readers must stare at the figure for ten seconds before focusing on the opposite white page where it assumes its complementary color. The process is intriguing, but may strain the patience of the very young; the plot is too simple for older readers. A reproduction of Goethe's color wheel and a brief note on his discovery are included.Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Library Talk Reviews 1999 January
Little frog and mama frog discuss the animal friends who will be invited to little frog's birthday party. Directions preceding the story allow readers to understand the mystery of seeing complementary colors by staring at a dot surrounded by color and then transferring the gaze to the opposite white page and dot, where white becomes the complementary color of the animal shape on the previous page. Larger group settings might be less likely to use this book effectively, but children will be captivated by the mystery and will eagerly investigate the world of color opposites by using this book, prisms, or color wheels. The German poet, novelist, and philosopher Goethe is introduced on the dedication page, while the final page has an example of Goethe's color wheel, with shades found in the story. This story is another wonderful surprise from Eric Carle--a gentle and loving treasure of a book. Older science students might enjoy this as well. Highly Recommended. Ann Bryan Nelson, Elementary Library Media Coordinator, Marshall (Michigan) Public Schools © 1999 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2001 June #2
"Carle offers a straightforward, repetitive text and minimalist cut-paper art to demonstrate Goethe's 19th-century color theory," said PW. Ages 2-up. (June) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1998 July
PreS-Gr 6AAn introduction to the concept of complementary or opposite colors, cloaked in a story of a birthday party. Little Frog describes his animal guests to his mother, but none of them seem to be the color he attributes to themAuntil readers stare at each of them for 10 seconds and then look at the pure-white facing page for 3 seconds. Then, Red Fox, seen as green in the large, clear illustration against a stark white background, appears red. Orange Cat, depicted as blue on the left, turns the appropriate color when the same procedure is followed. The problem is that the mechanics required to illustrate the principle and make the story work are too burdensome for preschoolers. Even older children may not have the patience or interest to sit still and repeat the necessary visual exercise all nine times it takes to complete the story, and the thin plot will hold little interest for them. Carle's many fans will no doubt pick up this book, but they are likely to tire of it quickly.ADiane Janoff Queens Borough Public Library, NY

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