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scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source

Category results for 'colors'.

I enjoyed Laura Seeger's exploration of the color green in Green (see my review here), and I thought Blue was just as well done -- illustrations consisting of textured paintings, including cut-outs on each page that become something different when the page is turned. The text also follows the same pattern, describing (with occasional rhymes) different kinds of blue as displayed on each colorful double page.

This particular book is different in that it has a theme -- it follows the story of a boy and his dog, and thus illustrates even the feeling of "blue" as the boy eventually mourns the aging and loss of his friend. This is very simply communicated through the pictures and spare text, and will certainly tug at the heart-strings of any dog-lover. I'm not much of a "dog person" myself, but I can still appreciate the friendship portrayed here, and how adequately the feeling of loss can be summed up with just a color. 

I think it would be wonderful to see a picture book like this for many more colors!

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author/Illustrator: Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Pages: 40
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

On the surface, Mixed looks like a book about mixing colors. I'd been looking for something like this that would give kids a visual of primary/secondary colors, and I thought it would be great if it was told in a story format to make things more interesting.

Turns out this story does involve mixing colors, but it has a lot more going on and I really like how the deeper issue was portrayed through a relatively simple story. With descriptive but succinct text, the narrative begins with three color populations living together in a city, who soon decide to live apart after an argument about which one is better. Each color keeps their distinctive traits sequestered in their own part of the city, until one day a blue and a yellow meet, fall in love, and decide to... *gulp*... mix!

So while it's about art, it's also about racism, and could probably be applied to many other distinctives that have become ways by which people have tried to assert superiority over others. Perhaps it's oversimplified, but for a short and sweet fable, I though it worked really well, and didn't feel heavy-handed to me.

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author/Illustrator: Arree Chung
Pages: 40
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

I've already made a list about books geared toward art in general, but this one is specifically about colors. Of course, there are many many picture books that introduce colors to children, some based on particular themes that may be more exciting to some children than others. These are just some of our personal favorites out of the many fun and useful books out there.

 

Even though I grew up with Dr. Seuss books, it wasn't until I was an adult that I realized he had produced a "colors book" as well. However, My Many Colored Days does not contain his trademark Seussical illustrations -- instead, the manuscript of this poem was illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher, and not published until after Seuss's death. What results is a vibrant celebration of color and emotion, as each color has a particular feeling paired with it -- from happy and energetic to low and upset, the colors help to visualize an animal embodying something about each emotion. But in the end, the book emphasizes that "I'm still me" through all of it.

 

From another well-known children's book author, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse is Eric Carle's tribute to German painter Franz Marc. While nothing is said of Marc in the text, there is a short informational paragraph about him at the end. Carle encountered Marc's work while growing up in Germany -- Marc was one of many "degenerate" artists whose work was banned by the Nazis, and one of his more famous paintings is of a blue horse. This book includes animals drawn in all the "wrong" colors -- a purple fox, an orange elephant, etc. It is a way of encouraging children to not let conventional expectations limit their art. For another colorful book of animals illustrated by Carle (mostly conventionally), see also Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?. Also, while it's not a "colors book," Carle's Animals Animals pairs his vibrant illustrations with sayings and poems about many different animals (most conventionally depicted, this time).

 

While Green is not a regular colors book that depicts every major color, it also doesn't limit itself entirely to green either. Many shades are explored here -- from jungle green to "shaded" green (trees). Also, each page includes clever cut-outs that become very different things on each side of the page. Not only that, but the paintings are lovely, full of textured detail. See my full review here.

 

For those who are fans of L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series, Anne's Colors is a beautiful celebration of major scenes from the first book, as a means of introducing colors. The illustrations were created with fabric and embroidery, which adds some texture and life to Anne's world. We get to see a brown dress (with puffed sleeves, of course), red cordial, blue sky, etc. See my full review here.

 

For children who enjoy monsters, Monsters Love Colors, by Mike Austin, is an exuberant (and of course colorful) celebration of colors and how fun it can be to color with them and mix them up. This book uses monsters to show how the primary colors can be mixed to create the secondary colors, and that when they're all together, they make a beautiful rainbow. For kids who don't like monsters (or just for a more subdued book with a similar premise), see Mouse Paint, which demonstrates the same mixing of colors.

Green sounds pretty simple, and it is (there are few words here), but I thought it was well executed. It is, as it sounds, a celebration of the many shades and forms of green in the world, from "jungle green," to "faded green" (paint), to "shaded green" (apple trees). The illustrations are vibrant and textured, and the pages include clever cut-outs that become something totally different once you turn the page and they show through the other side. 

My kids and I enjoyed this one and, for the record, there are certainly other colors in the illustrations as well (including a red stop sign as evidence of "never green.")

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author/illustrator: Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Pages: 36
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

Anne's Colors is the second Anne-themed book I've come across recently, the first being an Anne of Green gables graphic novel (see my review here). 

This adorable book uses very simple text, as well as illustrations made of fabric and embroidery, to perfectly encapsulate the charm of Anne of Green Gables in a way that's friendly for babies and toddlers. Each scene will be familiar to fans of the book, and highlights one item and its color (green for green gables, of course!). To be honest, I couldn't tell you off hand whether anything was made up for this book, because I have no idea whether, for example, Anne's puffed-sleeve dress was really brown or not! Not that it makes any difference to me.

Anne's braids are referred to here as "orange" which, while it may not match the book exactly ("red hair"), more accurately portrays that misnomer so as not to confuse children.

Some "items" are less concrete, such as "pink cheeks" which shows Anne angry at Gilbert grabbing her braid. But I don't think any of these selections were too contrived, and each manages to recreate a memorable scene or concept from the story, whether it's Anne and Matthew in the carriage, or the fateful party with Diana and the cordial.

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author/illustrator: Kelly Hill 
Pages: 20
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

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