Reviewed May 15, 2003.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2003.
First published in 1984. 32 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (E STE).
A Sonderbooks’ Stand-out of
#3, New Picture Books
My response to this picture book was to hand it to each
member of my family and ask them to read it. This beautiful
fable by William Steig is clever, delightful and powerful.
Yellow and Pink are two wooden men lying in the sun on
an old newspaper. They wake up and begin to ponder the age-old
questions, “Who am I? Why am I here?”
Pink believes that someone must have made them.
Yellow doesn’t see how anyone could have made something so intricate
and perfect as they. Wouldn’t they have known if someone had
made them? No, he comes up with a complicated scenario in which
he just happened to be created as a branch broke from a tree and rolled
down a hill and was pecked by woodpeckers. Unlikely, maybe, but
a lot of strange things can happen in millions of years. The fact
that Pink is painted differently just goes to show that it must all be
They decide to quit arguing. Then a man comes along
and picks them up. He mutters that they’re now nice and dry.
Yellow and Pink don’t have any idea who he is.
This is a beautiful fable in that it never comes out and
says it’s a fable. If you believe that it’s much more logical
for an intricate design to have a Designer, this is the perfect book
to explain those ideas to your children. Beautifully done and
Reviews of other books by William Steig:
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Pete's a Pizza
Review of a book about William Steig:
The World of William
by Lee Lorenz