Rainbow Joe and Me

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Overview

Eloise is a young artist who loves to mix colors. Sitting on the front stoop of her house, she tells her neighbor, Rainbow Joe, how she combines red and white to make fish, and red and blue to make monkeys. Rainbow Joe explains that even though he is blind he can imagine colors. Not only that, he can make them sing. Eloise's mother says the blind man is just dreaming. It isn't until Rainbow Joe takes out his saxophone and plays colors that Mama and Eloise can see them. Big red notes and little yellow notes begin ...
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Overview

Eloise is a young artist who loves to mix colors. Sitting on the front stoop of her house, she tells her neighbor, Rainbow Joe, how she combines red and white to make fish, and red and blue to make monkeys. Rainbow Joe explains that even though he is blind he can imagine colors. Not only that, he can make them sing. Eloise's mother says the blind man is just dreaming. It isn't until Rainbow Joe takes out his saxophone and plays colors that Mama and Eloise can see them. Big red notes and little yellow notes begin to fly as music fills the sky.

Eloise shares her love of colors with her blind friend Rainbow Joe, who makes his own colors when he plays beautiful notes on his saxophone.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
PreS-Eloise loves bright colors. She mixes them and paints wild pictures. When she sees Rainbow Joe on the steps of her apartment building, she tells him about her colors and paintings. "I mix up red and white and make fish. Crazy pink fish swimming across my paper." He says he has a special way with colors and can "make them sing," but the child doesn't understand how a blind man like him can see colors. One day after church, Joe surprises Eloise and her mother with his saxophone. As he plays, the little African-American girl can see and hear the colors that he creates with his music. Primitive, childlike acrylic artwork in vivid colors complement the story. However, although the sentiment is admirable, the presentation isn't successful. A disjointed narrative and weak characters contribute to the overall perplexing tone of the book. The concept of "hearing" colors is too abstract for young children, who are likely to be confused by Rainbow Joe's ability to play colors as well as by Eloise's ability to see and hear them. Estelle Condra's See the Ocean (Ideals, 1994) and Bill Martin Jr.'s Knots on a Counting Rope (Holt, 1995) are more effectively done, but this title could be used one-on-one to generate discussion on what it is like to live in a world without color.-Carolyn Stacey, Jefferson County Public Library, Golden, CO Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Strom debuts with an determinedly exuberant book about a cool young African-American artist, Eloise, whose fondness for bold colors and boldly outlined shapes is happily echoed in the full-bleed acrylic spreads. Mama tells Eloise not to bother Joe when the two talk on the front steps, but it's hard for Eloise to contain her eagerness to tell her elderly friend about her paintings. Far from bothered, the blind man she calls Rainbow Joe for reasons apparent only at book's end loves to listen; he approves of her imagination. Rainbow Joe claims to make the colors he sees in his head. "I know how to make them sing," he says early on. "One of these days I'm going to show you." Eloise's knowledge of the color wheel, which she shares incrementally with readers, tells her that vision is needed to mix colors. Even Mama says the only color a blind person can achieve is muddy gray. It isn't until Joe unpacks his saxophone and plays colors that Mama and Eloise can see them. This exploration of sensory differences and similarities is enlightening and enchanting. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781880000939
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/1999
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: AD490L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.35 (w) x 8.82 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2006

    Rainbow Joe and Me

    this is a great book.Alot of people would love to read this book is enjoyful and really creative.Rainbow Joe and Me is a great picture book that alot of can enjoy and will enjoy.It's really awesome to read a book that have manytalent in it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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