Title: The Black Book of Colours
Author: Menena Cottin
Illustrator: Rosana Faria
Publisher: Walker Books, $19.95 RRP
Format: Hard cover
For ages: 3 – 7
Type: Picture Book
About: A book about colours – nothing unusual about that, right? Guess again.
When I heard of this book, I just had to have a peak at it, because this is a book of colours that doesn’t actually have any colours in it. As the title suggests, the entire book is black, and I was intrigued to discover how this would work.
It is the story of a blind boy, who describes colours as he hears, smells, tastes and feels them. Each turn of the page uncovers a beautiful description of a colour; for example, “Thomas says that yellow tastes like mustard, but is as soft as a baby chick’s feathers”.
Accompanying these delicious words is a brail translation and, on the opposite page, a raised black illustration for children to touch.
This is a book for both visually impaired and seeing children, as those with sight will benefit greatly from learning about the ways in which the blind ‘see’ not just colours, but the world. It opens up conversations about differences and impairments, promoting acceptance and an understanding that, whilst many of us can see the things around us, there are others who are reliant on their other senses in order to ‘see’ and read.
A truly unique and moving story, The Black Book of Colours is a must-read for any child and parent.
This book is available online