Friday, September 10, 2010

Review: Lemons Are Not Red

Find at
Find at
Title: Lemons Are Not Red
Author/Illustrator: Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Year: 2004
ISBN: 978-1596430082
Format: Hardcover, also available in Paperback
Pages: 32
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler
Kid Love Factor: 5/5
Adult Sanity Factor: 3/5

I saw Lemons Are Not Red reviewed over at Infant Bibliophile’s site. Since we’ve been trying for weeks to get Boo to solidly understand negation, I figured this would be perfect.

It so was.

The yellow opening page declares:

Lemons are not RED.

There’s a lemon-shaped cut-out which clearly displays a red lemon. But once you turn the page, the lemon cut-out is now over the yellow background, and the red former background is revealed to be a nice big apple.

Lemons are YELLOW.
Apples are RED.

The pattern continues through orange carrots and purple eggplants, pink flamingos and grey elephants, brown reindeer and white snowmen, green grass and the blue sky, and ends with the silver moon and the black night. Good night!

This was an instant hit. Boo loves naming colours, so I knew he’d be intrigued, but I failed to predict the height of toddler awesometude that this would be. Now everything is “not”. Car not pink! Duck not turtle! Which you’d think would be a bad thing, and maybe it soon will be (like when he gets to “Boo not hungry!”, or worse, “Boo not tired!”), but for now I’m pleased. As a nice bonus, he’ll now “read” it to himself, word for word, which is excellent as my threshold for the number of times this is good to read in a row is substantially lower than his.

I’m quite sure Boo has no idea what an eggplant is (because, um, BLECH!), but he knows that they're purple. I’ll have to locate one to show him next time we’re at the grocery store.

Autism Spectrum Bonus: Not too much beyond what neurotypical kids will glean from it. This one suited Boo in that it catered to his colour Special Interest and helped explain the "not" concept we’d been struggling with. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure if the issue was due to his communication delay, or because I’d done a crap job of modelling. Either way, problem solved. Boo also find the cut-out and how it changes colour from one side to the other fascinating. I imagine it’d be just as much so for any highly visually-oriented kiddo.

Bottom Line:
This book is not AWFUL
This book is GOOD
Eggplants are AWFUL


Lemons Are Not Red on

Lemons Are Not Red on


  1. Thanks for the link back. I'm so glad he liked it! Every review I've read from other moms has been positive, too. That's awesome that it got across the negation concept you were looking to teach.

  2. Thanks for letting me know of its existence. :)

  3. I missed this one on Infant Bibliophile. Goes on the list for our next library trip.

  4. To be fair, Infant Bibliophile reviewed it about a year and a half ago. Not sure why I spotted it...probably her LinkWithin widget. Glad I did, though. Enjoy!


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