It's Me, Marva : A Story About Color and Optical Illusions

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9780679889939: It's Me, Marva : A Story About Color and Optical Illusions
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Meet Marva, absent-minded inventor whose day is a series of mixed-up colors and illusions. She tries changing her hair color but gets unexpected results, puts her blue jeans in the washing machine with her yellow scarf and her red shirt (the shirt turns purple and the scarf comes out green), and when she looks in the mirror after gazing at some polka-dot wallpaper, she thinks she has measles.

Marjorie Priceman’s story about a muddle-headed but lovable heroine is propelled by a host of clever optical tricks worked seamlessly into bold cut-paper illustrations. It’s Me, Marva! is a sneaky science lesson, a playful romp of a story, and fun and games for the eye.

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Review:

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

From School Library Journal:

Grade 2-5-While tinkering with her Ketch-o-matic machine, amateur inventor Marva ends up with a head full of ketchup but, instead of exciting red hair, her blonde locks turn orange (yellow plus red). Her beautician's attempt to bleach and dye Marva's hair red produces pink instead (white plus red). The woman continues her color odyssey when her new blue jeans bleed during a trip to the Laundromat. Throughout her busy day, patterned wallpaper makes her see spots, she's hypnotized by a wavy tie, and a blue vase turns purple when she brings it home. After several more optical adventures and now sporting purple hair, Marva collides in the park with none other than the Laundromat's owner-and a final visual trick hints at a romance in their future. Optical illusions, color mixing, and more drive this story; as a result, the writing is often just serviceable and the plot is episodic and choppy. However, clever after-image activities enhance the tale and actively engage readers. The visually arresting op-art endpapers and the cut-paper illustrations are crisp, bright, and jaunty with a retro look. Brief explanations of five visual principles illustrated in the story are appended. Primarily a playful and painless exploration of optical-illusion concepts, this less-than-riveting adventure is best enjoyed by curious readers or as a lighthearted addition to art or science-optics units.
Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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