May 20, 2010

Check it out!

The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin, illustrated by Rosana Faria

Raised black line drawings on black pages encourage people to use their other senses to experience art, helping them understand what it is like to be blind.

Kirkus Review starred (May 15, 2008)

"Thomas likes all the colors because he can hear them and smell them and touch them and taste them"--but he can't see them, and this innovative picture book gives sighted children a sense of what that must be like. Color by color, readers learn yellow ("tastes like mustard"), red ("hurts when he finds it on his scraped knee"), brown ("crunches under his feet like fall leaves") and so on, but all they'll see is black. Each all-black double-page spread is devoted to one color, the left-hand page containing the simple, sensuous text rendered both in a clear, white typeface and in raised Braille letters, and the right illustrating one of the objects described with embossed lines that force readers to encounter them tactilely rather than visually. The shock readers feel will give way to wonder as they lose themselves in sightlessness and imagine the richness of Thomas's world: "Black is the king of all colors. It is as soft as silk when his mother hugs him and her hair falls in his face." Fascinating, challenging and lovely. (Picture book. 5 & up)

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