#1038 – Candy Pink by Adela Turin and Nella Bosnia

It took longer than expected to get the Surface up and running with files transferred, and all that nonsense. I appreciate your patience. Now, expect December to go full-out. I need to bring you as many books as I possibly can, knowing i will still disappoint some awaiting a review. (Keep checking in January).

While I cannot expect you to comment on all—or even read every review (which I am working on shortening for the coming year)—but it would be nice to know you have at least seen the book by scrolling down and clicking on “Like,” which to me says you have been here. Of course, I love comments and will reply to each and every one of them.

Thanks for your patience. I hope like what you see this month on Kid Lit Reviews. Enjoy your time and take care as you shop this holiday season, remembering books make terrific gifts for kids of all ages. All set? Let’s go!

candypinkcoversmedit Candy Pink (Egalité Series)
Written by Adela Turin
Translated (Italian to English) by Martin Hyams
Illustrated by Nella Bosnia
NubeOcho   11/15/2016
40 pages    Age 4—7


“Once upon a time there was a herd of elephants
in which the females had skin the color of candy pink.

“Candy Pink was published for the first time in Italy in 1976.
Adela Turin worked on equality and gender.
Her books are still necessary.” 

The Story
Candy Pink tells the story of life “in idyllic elephant country.” Females told what to eat, wear, and behave. Due to their restricted diet of anemones and peonies, the females have “large bright eyes and skin the color of candy pink,” while the boys are the traditional grey skinned elephants we all know. To ensure females eat the correct fruit (and behave in a socially acceptable manner), they must remain in the fenced-in garden where the fruit and flowers grow. Just to be sure everyone can tell the difference, female elephants must also wear pink ribbons, pink booties, and pink lace collars—the costume of female elephants (though the candy pink skin would seem more than enough of a reminder).
spread1Then there is Daisy. Despite following every female construct of this elephant country, Daisy remains the male skin color of grey. She wears all the accoutrements females wear to ensure others realize she is female and, most importantly, eats the prescribed female diet. Yet, to her parents’ dismay, Daisy remains a grey-skinned elephant and becomes greyer by the day. Frustrated, they abandoned Daisy to her to her own devices. Daisy chucks the regulated female life, leaves the fenced-in garden, and joins the boys: eating, roaming, and playing with, and as, male elephants do.

At first afraid and worried, the females soon become jealous of Daisy’s freedom. Will the other females act on any of their feelings or continue the status quo?

Candy Pink’s message—now 40 years old—is anything but subtle. At its basic, Candy Pink is about equality between boys and girls. Why must boys and girls wear different clothes, eat different foods, and enjoy different activities, despite what they might individually prefer to wear, eat, and do?
boys-playingAcceptance is another theme. Daisy’s parents do not accept Daisy differences. Not until she enters the free-playing world of the grey elephants is she accepted, but is it because she is grey-skinned, like the other males, or because she is a female and the group is inclusive.

Candy Pink is also about Control. Controlling a group—even a group of elephants—can be detrimental to those controlled and those who do the controlling. Daisy’s shame, placed there by her parents’ disappointment and shame, is visible in Daisy’s eyes. Yet when she frees herself of all the entrapments of being a “candy pink” elephant, Daisy’s delight and happiness shows through those same beautiful eyes. The other females simply want to be themselves as well. Does this make Daisy a leader?
fenced-inAn interesting thing occurs. As the females join the males, out of the confines of the fence and its candy pink skin-dyeing fruits, the females lose their pink tones, becoming grey-skinned, just like the boys. I was not expecting this conformity. It could be Candy Pink is a simple tale; a folktale to explain, in a whimsical fashion, why all elephants are grey—and not pink or blue.
watchingdaisyI love how a simple picture book can bring multiple themes to readers, usually a parent, making them think much more than they expected a picture book could make them think. This can only benefit their children. Elephants, regardless of color, are beautiful, expressive creatures, which will delight young children. The soft luxurious hues and gentle backgrounds aid Candy Pink in its multi-themed delivery, allowing a gentle immersion children and adults will appreciate.

CANDY PINK (EGALITÉ SERIES). Text copyright © 1976 by Adela Turin. Illustrations copyright © 1976 by Nella Bosnia. Italian to English translation by Martin Hyams, © 2016 NubeOcho. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, NubeOcho, Madrid.

Original titles
Rosaconfetto © 1976 by Dalla parte delle bambine, Milan, Italy
Rose Bonbon © 1999, 2008, 2014 by Actes Sud.

AmazonIndie BooksNubeOcho

Add Candy Pink (Egalité Series) to Your Goodreads Shelf HERE.

Reprinted with permission from CANDY PINK (EGALITÉ SERIES) © 1976 by Adela Turin, NubeOcho. Illustrations © 1976 by Nella Bosnia.

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Candy Pink (Egalité Series)
Written by Adela Turin
Translated (Italian to English) by Martin Hyams
Illustrated by Nella Bosnia
NubeOcho 11/08/2016


6 thoughts on “#1038 – Candy Pink by Adela Turin and Nella Bosnia

  1. This book takes on a lot of themes; interesting to hear it was written 40 yrs ago. I was just watching a clip on the news of LGBT homeless/orphaned kids in NY a lot of them disowned by their disapproving parents, similar to Daisy. I could never imagine not accepting my child for who they are. It proves the relevance and importance of books with this subject matter. You make an interesting point about the freed pink elephants turning grey and whether it represents conformity. I saw it more as a shedding of their stigma on their path to equality. Either way a great book to start conversations.


  2. Yes Yes YES!! I loved this book for those exact reasons! Control, acceptance, gender equality, all in a beautifully written and illustrated children’s book. We need these on all the bookshelves; I can’t wait to do a picture book storytime with this one.


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