'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Review: All The Colours Of Paradise

Glenda Millard's All the Colours Of Paradise is about the importance of communication in all it's forms. In the fourth book in this gorgeously atmospheric series, a year has passed since Perry Angel came to live in The Kingdom Of Silk.

Dressed as Superman, he is slowly emerging from his seven suitcase years. His favourite thing, other than Blue the dog, is drawing. So when Mr Kadri puts a poster up in his cafe announcing the annual art exhibition Perry sets to work.

This is a story about the language of pictures conveying a depth of feeling that is impossible with words alone. Annie and Ben understand this. Mr Kadri, who owns the Colour Patch Cafe, understands this. Not only can he speak his native language and English, he understands language of pictures too.

As the story unfolds, Glenda deftly provides warm family and community relationships. We meet Perry's beautiful teacher Miss Cherry who understands how difficult he finds language. Mr Jenkins, who tends the cemetery, wears a badge that says 'Special Needs Integration Officer' and attends school on the same days as Perry does. Mr Davis, the bus driver, calls him 'Buddy' even though that's not his real name. Life is settling into a rhythm between school days and home days. And all the Silks, including Layla, patiently love Perry. So when something terrible happens everyone does their best to help.

I relate so strongly to this beautiful story. The plot line and characters will ring true to anyone who understands the importance of colours in describing the world and how they feel. Especially as I have a child who in many ways is similar to Perry. And the line 'Friends are orange with no black bits' will always hold a special place in my heart. I can't even begin to tell you of the importance the colour orange plays in our lives.

Books are such precious things. We are so privileged to hold stories that have grown from someone else's heart. Books can tell so many stories all at once, each one touching on our own. Stories are like colouring, or dot-to-dot books. The words are the black colouring guidelines, or numbers, waiting to be coloured and joined with our own set of colours. And that is the magic. That is the secret part of stories that feels like we have somehow become a part of their creation when in truth they have become a part of own. 

Title: All the Colours of Paradise
Author: Glenda Millard
Illustrator: Stephen Michael King
Publisher: ABC Books, $14.95
Publication Date: May 2008
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780733322556
For ages:
8 - 12
Type: Junior Fiction