The Color Kittens

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Overview

Once there were two color kittens with green eyes, Brush and Hush . . .So goes the rollicking tale of two pouncy kittens who make all the colors in the world. First published more than 50 years ago, this much-requested title is now available as a Little Golden Book Classic, with its original cover!

While the color kittens are trying to make green paint, their mixing leads to pink, orange, and purple.

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Overview

Once there were two color kittens with green eyes, Brush and Hush . . .So goes the rollicking tale of two pouncy kittens who make all the colors in the world. First published more than 50 years ago, this much-requested title is now available as a Little Golden Book Classic, with its original cover!

While the color kittens are trying to make green paint, their mixing leads to pink, orange, and purple.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307102348
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/1/2000
  • Series: Little Golden Book Series
  • Edition number: 50
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.46 (w) x 10.37 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Wise Brown, beloved author of Goodnight Moon, wrote countless children’s books inspired by her belief that very young children could be fascinated by the simple pleasures of the world around them. She created some of the most enduring and beloved children’s books of all time.

Caldecott medalists Alice and Martin Provensen have illustrated more than 50 fabulous books for children.

Biography

When Margaret Wise Brown began to write for young children, most picture books were written by illustrators, whose training and talents lay mainly in the visual arts. Brown, the author of Goodnight Moon, was the first picture-book author to achieve recognition as a writer, and the first, according to historian Barbara Bader, "to make the writing of picture books an art."

After graduating college in 1932, Brown's first ambition was to write literature for adults; but when she entered a program for student teachers in New York, she was thrilled by the experience of working with young children, and inspired by the program's progressive leader, the education reformer Lucy Sprague Mitchell. Mitchell held that stories for very young children should be grounded in "the here and now" rather than nonsense or fantasy. For children aged two to five, she thought, real experience was magical enough without embellishments.

Few children's authors had attempted to write specifically for so young an audience, but Brown quickly proved herself gifted at the task. She was appointed editor of a new publishing firm devoted to children's books, where she cultivated promising new writers and illustrators, helped develop innovations like the board book, and became, as her biographer Leonard S. Marcus notes, "one of the central figures of a period now considered the golden age of the American picture book."

Though Brown was intensely interested in modernist writers like Gertrude Stein (whom she persuaded to write a children's book, The World Is Round), it was a medieval ballad that provided the inspiration for The Runaway Bunny (1942), illustrated by Clement Hurd. The Runaway Bunny was Brown's first departure from the here-and-now style of writing, and became one of her most popular books.

Goodnight Moon, another collaboration with Hurd, appeared in 1947. The story of a little rabbit's bedtime ritual, its rhythmic litany of familiar objects placed it somewhere between the nursery rhyme and the here-and-now story. At first it was only moderately successful, but its popularity gradually climbed, and by 2000, it was among the top 40 best-selling children's books of all time.

The postwar baby boom helped propel sales of Brown's many picture books, including Two Little Trains (1949) and The Important Book (1949). After the author died in 1952, at the age of 42, many of her unpublished manuscripts were illustrated and made into books, but Brown remains best known for Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny.

More people recognize those titles than recognize the name of their author, but Margaret Wise Brown wouldn't have minded. "It didn't seem important that anyone wrote them," she once said of the books she read as a child. "And it still doesn't seem important. I wish I didn't have ever to sign my long name on the cover of a book and I wish I could write a story that would seem absolutely true to the child who hears it and to myself." For millions of children who have settled down to hear her stories, she did just that.

Good To Know

When Goodnight Moon first appeared, the New York Public Library declined to buy it (an internal reviewer dismissed it as too sentimental). The book sold fairly well until 1953, when sales began to climb, perhaps because of word-of-mouth recommendations by parents. More than 4 million copies have now been sold. The New York Public Library finally placed its first order for the book in 1973.

If you look closely at the bookshelves illustrated in Goodnight Moon, you'll see that one of the little rabbit's books is The Runaway Bunny. One of three framed pictures on the walls shows a scene from the same book.

Brown's death was a stunning and sad surprise. The author had had an emergency appendectomy in France while on a book tour, which was successful; but when she did a can-can kick days later to demonstrate her good health to her doctor, it caused a fatal embolism.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Golden MacDonald, Juniper Sage, Timothy Hay
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 23, 1910
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, N.Y.
    1. Date of Death:
      November 13, 1952
    2. Place of Death:
      Nice, France

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 18 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    I love this book as a child and now I am buying it for our children!

    This is a classic book full of colorful illustrations. It is super cute! Also, Barnes and Noble's customer service is beyond awesome. If you're gonna get this book anywhere, get it here. Someone stole the first shipment of this book off my front porch before I got home, and B&N replaced it, no problem, no hassle.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    Great for kids of any age 2-5.

    This book teaches colors like no other.. mixing white and red to make pink..I love to quilt and sew…that came from the colors in this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 8, 2013

    Yesterday, my little boy painted.  He mixed his water colors and

    Yesterday, my little boy painted.  He mixed his water colors and came up with some unusual color combinations.  And when he finished painting, his rinse-water was brown.  Last night, he pulled this book off of the shelf to read.  I think he connected the two.
    Margaret Wise Brown wrote with amazing clarity and beauty and with a ear for rhythm.  It is no wonder that her works have endured and are still adored.  Color Kittens is a great example of her typical writing for children.  And it is also a useful book for teaching basic color theory (for paints, not light).
    Martin Provensen did a fantastic job with keeping up with Brown's writing.  His kittens are utterly charming, and the mixed paint scenes are delightfully wonderful. 
    Our grey kitten, Molly, knocked over some of my son's paints when he was painting.  Perhaps she wanted to be a Color Kitten.

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  • Posted April 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I think The Color Kittens is probably my favorite out of all of

    I think The Color Kittens is probably my favorite out of all of Margaret Wise Brown's books. Illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen, the artwork is playful and imaginative, supporting the text and bringing it to life. This book has the sweet story and delicate, musical way of rhyming that is so typical with Brown's books...but it doesn't always rhyme. I don't know about you, but when I'm reading aloud a children's book that has the exact same rhyme-rhythm pattern over and over and over, I start to feel a little bit silly. But in The Color Kittens, there is a bit of narrative, then a bit of rhyme, back and forth throughout. I love this! It gives some space for the rhyming portions to have a slight change in rhythm each time they appear.

    The Color Kittens is geared for ages 3 to 7. Children will be captivated by the story and illustrations, and learn how secondary colors are created. Parents will find the graceful, natural prose a pleasure to read aloud.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    Classic and beautifully illustrated.

    The illustrations and story are so simple but so beautiful. My kids are 7, 5 and 2 years old and all of them enjoy it when I read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    great gift idea

    I gave this book as a book donation to the children's home here in town. It was to be a Christmas gift. I always enjoyed the Golden Books Series. Wonderful pictures, and stories.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2009

    Color Kittens

    I read the book when I was a child and I am giving it to my four year old niece for Christmas.

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    mixing colors

    I bought a lot of the Golden books as I remembered them from my own childhood. I used this one with a three-year old. We read the story and then reread it stopping to mix colors just as the Color Kittens did. We have done it several times and he has enjoyed the experience each time.

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  • Posted May 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Childhood Favorite

    This book was one of my favorites as a little girl. So it was an obvious choice for my 3 year old son. We both enjoy the pictures and the sweet, magical tale. Added bonus - my little guy now knows which colors make other colors when mixed together.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    Adorable & Timeless

    A must-have for every pre-school child...sure to make them smile.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2001

    My all-time childhood favorite is back!

    Like the other reviewers, I still had my battered, carefully taped original, the one I had my own father read over and OVER again! I've gingerly shared it with my kids, but now look forward to the new copy, as well as sharing it with others.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2000

    A MUST for children of all ages

    I literally started crying when I saw this book in our local bookstore tonight. I love it! I've read my battered, torn, well-loved copy to my kids for years. I'm going to buy a bunch for the holidays and for the new babies we're expecting in our family next year! The illustrations are so beautiful, simple and yet so detailed. Even little ones who can't read learn their colors and love 'reading' the story outloud. I'm so excited this is out again!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2000

    An excellent book for all ages.

    I read this book as a young child, and was always quite fond of it. Like many things from childhood, it was forgotten until recently. I was delighted to discover that this book is, indeed, in print. This book was one of the major formative works in my upbringing. Have *you* read it?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2000

    This is the best of Margaret Wise Brown

    At last! This wonderful book is back in print (and with the original illustrations!) Our poor loose-paged Big Golden Book copy that is at least 35 years old probably has had a thousand readings. Our adult children (ages 35-45) all know its lyrical verses by heart. It was a clever way for them to learn the mixing of colors, but that was merely an added plus, because the charm of the pictures and the warmth of the poetry was what worked its way into the hearts of our family. Welcome back 'Oh wonderful kittens, oh Brush and Hush!' Our 2 year old grandson awaits you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2000

    A Classic!

    This is a charming story that people 40+ might remember from their own childhoods. The language is highly visual and poetic, and children will love learning about colors as well as following the adventures of Hush and Brush. This author also wrote 'Goodnight Moon,' and many other wonderful books for young children.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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