Candy Pink by Adela Turin: Author, Illustrator: Nella Bosnia and Translator: Martin Hyams

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Candy PinkImagine a herd of elephants. Visualize the multitude of sizes inside the mass of gray.

In this particular herd, all the females have skin the color of candy pink with exceptionally bright eyes. What an obvious way to distinguish girls from boys?

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Apparently, this color difference occurs from eating only anemones and peonies in an enclosed garden. Although not exactly nutritious, these plants are not obviously harmful. Everyone is so proud of this uniqueness; the females even add pink clothing and accessories to intensify their pinkish beauty.

All the girls are expected to stay within the confines of the garden. Why would they want to leave? Isn’t being pink and dressed in pink collar bibs, pink bows on their tails, and pink shoes a perfectly pink life?

The pink elephants observe their brothers and cousins freely eating green grass, wallowing in the water and mud, as well as napping under trees.
Unfortunately, Daisy is not a pink elephant. Yes, she eats her anemones and peonies with the other girls, but she stays gray. Daisy’s parents are ashamed of her. Feeling full of guilt, Daisy forces herself to eat more of the anemones and peonies. Still, she does not turn pink. What is wrong with her?
Naturally when she tries to be like everyone else and there is no change, what does anyone do? She leaves the garden while all her friends are still munching on the flowers. At first, the pink elephants are upset, then worried, curious, and finally jealous.

What will happen when the other girl elephants observe Daisy eating fresh grass and enjoying life outside the fences garden of anemones and peonies?

Candy Pink was written forty years ago to promote gender equality. Adela Turin is an art historian living in Paris. She founded a publishing house in Milan strictly for children’s books.

Candy Pink is a beautifully illustrated story with parallel words perfectly matching the illustrations on each page.

Observing the pink female elephants doing as they should staying within the confines of the garden to remain pink is the perfect parallel line for differing rules for boys and girls. Do boys and girls have different rules for growing up?

The book is colorful and brilliantly contrasts between the grays, the boys, and the pinks, girls.

This book is now republished and translated into English. Candy Pink is an excellent children’s book with a message for every person.