Oct 1, 2011
The Black Book of Colors
The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin
Illustrated by Rosana Faría
Translated from Spanish by Elisa Amado
If you were blind and you had to describe colors, you would use all your other senses. That's how Thomas describes them, using his senses of touch, taste, smell and hearing. To him, yellow tastes like mustard, red is as sweet as watermelon but hurts when you find it on a scraped knee, brown smells like chocolate, blue is "the color of the sky when kites are flying," green tastes like lemon ice cream and smells like freshly cut grass. "Thomas thinks that without the sun, water doesn't amount to much. It has no color, no taste, no smell." And black, well, black is the king of all the colors, "soft as silk when his mother hugs him and her hair falls in his face."
The Black Book of Colors is a marvelous book. Its use of sensory details to describe colors is wonderful and lyrical. The design of the book is captivating. The pages are all black, with the shapes embossed in shiny black. Each page with text is accompanied by its Braille counterpart and the full Braille alphabet is also included at the end of the book. The Black Book of Colors belongs in every household and classroom where diversity is encouraged and discussed. Its use of metaphors, similes, and sensory details, also makes it a superb mentor text to use in the writing workshop. A great find!