Colors of Meby Brynne Barnes, Annika M. Nelson
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Intriguing collage illustrations frame this timeless story of a young child who questions the significance of color. Speaking in verse, the child wonders if the natural world believes any particular color to be more important than another. Does the rain think I'm a color when it falls on my head? I wonder if the clouds think I'm a color... maybe they think I'm green or blue or red. The child comes to see the importance of a world filled with and accepting of all colors. Do I have to choose one color? I want to be them all - black, blue, purple, brown, pink, orange, yellow, red, white, and green. The whole world is full of colors - just like me. Brynne Barnes earned a B.S. from the University of Michigan and a M.A. from Eastern Michigan University, and she teaches writing at Adrian College. This is her first picture book. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she writes books, poetry, and music.Annika M. Nelson's work crosses cultural borders, portraying images of everyday life. She has illustrated several books including Folk Wisdom of Mexico, in addition to illustrations for many national publications. She lives near San Diego, California.
Barnes' earnest, rather oblique text interrogating the use of colors as labels for people is at odds with its playful, naive collage art.
The clunky opening line reads, "I'm just a kid coloring the world in the pictures I drew. I look in my crayon box to see which one I'd be...I wonder if kids are colors too," propelling readers into a lengthy rumination on whether elements of the natural world "see" a child as a color. "Am I a color to the sky? Am I a color in my dreams? Am I a color to the moon? Am I a color to the sea?" The ideological slant declares color an inadequate and limiting description or category for a human being. While a laudable message, it seems a rather abstract one for the intended child audience, though Nelson's accompanying, playful and, yes, colorful, collage illustrations seem much more in tune with young children's sensibilities. This title doesn't measure up to other more developmentally appropriate titles prompting discussion about race, ethnicity and diversity. Let's Talk about Race, by Julius Lester and illustrated by Karen Barbour (2005), and The Skin You Live in, by Michael Tyler and illustrated by David Lee Csicsko (2005), are just two of these.
The book has its heart in the right place, but its mind is too clearly focused on adult agendas and preoccupations. (Picture book. 5-8)
- Sleeping Bear Press
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 3 MB
- Age Range:
- 6 - 9 Years
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Picture books are such a great tool in helping children understand race. Colors of Me is a great book to help bridge those candid conversions about differences. This book will help children embrace their visible differences and enjoy the commonalities among them. Your child will appreciate the brilliant artwork and poetic writing. Celebrate a child’s color by sharing this book with them.
My Review: A playful rhyme book celebrating the colors of the world by questioning whether the rain has a color to does the grass knows if it¿s green? And if the rain doesn¿t think of our colors when it falls on our head then why do we have questions about race, ethnicity and diversity? Does a child know which color is important? NO! Like the author mentioned, ¿The whole world is full of colors just like you and me.¿ Illustrator Annika Nelson used bold colors to bring this book to life. I highly recommend this book for classroom teaching. FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion in any way.
Whimsical look at the world of color on multiple levels. Written for children, but equally thought-provoking for adults. The poetry is delightful and the graphics encourage a child's playful view of nature and the brilliance of color. I highly recommend this book for stimulating discussion about perception, color, race, and social identity as played out in nature and life around an increasingly complex globally connected world.