Sunday, June 13, 2010

Color Wonder

Like alphabet books, there is no shortage of books about the colors of the rainbow. And with good reason - this is a very popular toddler and preschool topic. The trick is to find color themed books that are good outside of the basic concept they are trying to teach - books that are fun and entertaining while they are also showing off red, blue and yellow. These are some favorites to track down at your library. Plus don't forget to check out these previous posts: Freight Train by Donald Crews, Planting a Rainbow, Color Farm, and Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert, and In Living Color by Steve Jenkins.

Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd
Dog has quite an exciting day collecting many more colors than just his one black spot as he romps out and about. This is a double hit - it's a counting book as well. If you like Dog, check out his ABC and Noisy Day books as well. (Ages 2-6)
(Full bibliographic info: Dodd, Emma. Dog's Colorful Day. Dutton Children's Books, 2001.)

Lunch by Denise Fleming
Mouse is hungry and is using his sniffer to seek out some colorful things for lunch. Each page gives a visual clue to the fruit or vegetable such as yellow corn, blue berries, and orange carrots. Bright illustrations and short, simple text make this a good choice for the youngest readers. (Ages 1-5)
(Full bibliographic info: Fleming, Denise. Lunch. Henry Holt, 1992.)

Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood
Little owl makes the decision to find out what he might be missing all day when he is normally asleep. And what he is missing is a beautiful array of colors which are shared with us through gorgeous illustrations. This is one not to miss. (Ages 2-6)
(Full bibliographic info: Hopgood, Tim. Wow! Said the Owl. Farrar, Straus and Grioux, 2009.)

A Day with No Crayons by Elizabeth Rusch
While not a concept book to introduce the rainbow colors, A Day with No Crayons, instead, introduces the idea that color can be found and used within our everyday world. Liza is a girl who loves her crayons and in fact her whole world is organized by the colors of crayons. One day she runs out of paper and logically continues her work on her walls. Her mom removes her crayons and Liza's world goes literally grey until her imagination breaks free and she discovers sparks of color all around her. (Ages 5-8)
(Full bibliographic info: Rusch, Elizabeth. A Day with No Crayons. Rising Moon Books for Young Readers, 2007.)

Blue Goose by Nancy Tafuri
One day while Farmer Gray is away, the fowl of the farm decide to give it a splash of color. The sky, barn, grass, doors and even the sun are painted. This simple, but imaginatively fun book also introduces the concepts of mixing the primary colors to get some of those secondary shades. (Ages 2-6)
(Full bibliographic info: Tafuri, Nancy. Blue Goose. Simon and Schuster, 2008.)

Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh
Three white mischievous mice are hidden safely from the cat while they are planted on a sheet of plain white paper. But the fun begins while cat is asleep and the mice discover three jars of paint - red, blue and yellow. They douse themselves in the primary colors and then delight in dancing in spilled puddles to make new colors. This color concept book never grows old. (Ages 2-6)
(Full bibliographic info: Walsh, Ellen Stoll. Mouse Paint. Voyager, 1995.)

The Deep Blue Sea by Audrey Wood
Similarly constructed in the pattern of This is the House that Jack Built, The Deep Blue Sea builds a rhythm of vibrant colors - and all atop that red island in the middle of the deep blue sea. Readers will be drawn in to the cadence to read along. (Ages 2-6)
(Full bibliographic info: Wood, Audrey. The Deep Blue Sea. Blue Sky Press, 2005.)


  1. I would add Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox as a must for this list.

  2. Check out the new book Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes.

  3. I second Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox. And I was surprised by how much my kids loved Denise Fleming's Lunch. Glad it made it to your list.

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