Poor Marva. This daydreaming inventor can't seem to get her head--or her hair--together. When her latest invention, the Ketch-o-matic, explodes, ketchup covers Marva's yellow hair... and turns it red! Marva rinses it off, but now she has orange hair. Her life goes on like this for some time, as even the hairdresser can't get it right. Meanwhile, Marva is making some interesting discoveries about color and patterns. She becomes inadvertently hypnotized by a sales clerk's swirly tie, finds and then loses a new blue (or is it purple?) vase, and thinks she has measles, all because of some fortuitously placed optical illusions. She also learns, through ill-fated experience, that two colors mixed together create a new color. So, for example, if red punch is spilled on a white dog, you'll end up with a pink pooch. And if new blue jeans are thrown in the wash with a red shirt and yellow scarf, you guessed it: a purple shirt and green scarf will emerge. But who knows, romance with the Laundromat owner may also result!
Caldecott Honor artist Marjorie Priceman (illustrator of Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin by Lloyd Moss, The Brand New Kid by Katie Couric, and others) plays and plays in this clever color caper. Her cut-paper illustrations, intriguing illusions, and Marva-lous heroine will surely win her hordes of new fans. (Ages 5 to 8) --Emilie Coulter