The Black Book of Colors

11 Dec
blackbookofcoloursThis is probably one of the most interesting picture books I have ever seen!  A quick story before I continue on: I volunteered at a summer camp for children with visual impairments and each child was different – from those who were completely blind, to those who could differentiate light from dark, and those who needed prescription glasses to see.  It was one of the most eye-opening experiences I have ever had.  I was in college at the time, and I could only imagine what it was like for these kids to be in a completely new environment sleeping away from home and learning all new things.  But, in reality, I didn’t leave camp without having learned some things as well.  A number of the kids had a favorite color and although I couldn’t figure out how to ask them, I wanted to know what they saw in their minds for each color and how they chose their favorite – was it based on the color’s name, how someone described it to them, or their own experiences?  The Black Book of Colors actually taught me just a little about seeing colors with my all of my senses, but sight – a priceless addition!
It really is a black book – each page is black with white font and raised pictures that describe how a person with a visual impairment might see colors.  For example, “Thomas says that yellow tastes like mustard, but is as soft as a baby chick’s feathers.”  On the opposite page are raised feathers to describe the color yellow.  This is must a see for anyone interested in something a little bit different, for children with visual impairments, or those who are very interested in using all of their senses.  The great part about this simple books is that the text is also translated into Braille on each page for those who can read it.  There is also a Braille alphabet at the end of the story for those interested in learning more about it.
Title: The Black Book of Colors
* This book was first published in Spanish in Mexico.
Author: Menena Cottin
Illustrator: Rosana Faria
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Publication Date: 2008

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