All kids love colours, right? So it’s no surprise that there’s a fabulous range of books out there to read to every colour-loving kid. From rainbows and zoo animals to emotions and architecture, you can find a colour book to appeal to even the most obscure interests. Here are some of my favourites:
What’s Your Favourite Colour?
Written & Illustrated by Eric Carle and Friends
This exploration of colour has been written and illustrated by fifteen of today’s best-known picture book creators from around the world. Each page delves into a different colour, giving an insight into why particular shades, specific to our lives, can become our favourites. The variety of styles of both words and pictures from all the different artists makes this an interesting and absorbing read for children aged 3 and up, and brings our attention to the beauty of the colours all around us.
Written by Ezekiel Kwaymullina, Illustrated by Moira Court
This striking book features a rainbow shape on every page, creating a consistent visual theme as it explores each of the rainbow’s individual colours in turn. Each colour is brought to life with classic imagery of nature and its majestic creatures. The book’s moral is delivered on the final pages, where all the colours come together to form the complete rainbow, with the message that “We are all different, but together we colour our world amazing!”
What Colour is Your World?
Written & Illustrated by Bob Gill
This book challenges the traditional notions that milk is white, the ocean is blue, and all the things in the world around us have set, unchangeable colours. The narrator, an artist, explains that if he so chooses, he can make the sky yellow or cabbages blue. This book was first published in 1962, and is a beautiful reminder to children of the nature of art and creativity.
My Many Coloured Days
Written by Dr. Seuss, Paintings by Steve Johnson & Lou Francher
This book explores the relationship between colours and feelings – how on brown days we feel low and slow, or on orange days we might feel as energetic as a circus seal. It is a huge departure from Dr. Seuss’ well-known style of whimsical rhyme, but a lovely way to open up a discussion with your children about how colour can help them understand and describe their emotions.
Look Up! Numbers, Colours and Shapes in Architecture
By Antonia Pesenti
This book takes readers on a tour of some of the most fascinating and distinct buildings around the world, making it enjoyable for both adults and children alike. Each building has been carefully selected for some of the features it showcases – Pesenti uses these architectural wonders to draw our attention to numbers, shapes and colours in the buildings around us. By using a broad range of buildings from across the globe and from different eras, Look Up! also provokes discussion about architecture, and its bold images will be enjoyed by children aged one and up.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?
Written by Bill Martin Jnr, Illustrated by Eric Carle
This classic text was written in 1967, and is accompanied by beautiful illustrations in Eric Carle’s signature collage style. It is consistently included in lists of the top picture books of all time, and children love learning their colours as they tour the zoo, encountering different animals along the way. From Red Bird and Blue Horse to Green Frog and Purple Cat, the repetitive rhythm of the text will have your child chanting along in no time, as you will undoubtedly end up reading this book again and again.
Colour My Days
By Ross Collins
Colour My Days tells the story of Emmy and Jeff, whose days were black and white (and boring!) until the colours came along to spice things up for them. Readers follow along on their colourful adventures, and finally they collapse into bed, exhausted and happy. This is a simple, fun story with bright, vibrant illustrations that kids will love. In addition, the book is published by Red Squirrel, an award-winning UK-based company that uses dyslexic-friendly printing features to allow parents and carers with dyslexia to read books to their children.
Swatch, The Girl Who Loved Colour
By Julia Denos
Swatch is a wild girl who loves to hunt for unusual colours, from Bravest Green and In-Between Grey to Just-Laid Blue and Rumble-Tumble Pink. She loves the colours so much that she begins to capture them and keep them in jars. Ultimately, she discovers that colours are happiest when they are allowed to run free. This engaging storyline and the accompanying thrilling illustrations are best suited to slightly older children, aged 4+.