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The Black Book of Colours



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The Black Book of Colours by Cottin Menena
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25% of people buy The Black Book of Colours and Leaf Man ~ Hardback ~ Lois Ehlert.


A stunning and unforgettable black book ... about colour.

Our eyes tell us about colour. But what if you are blind? Can you still know colours? Using simple language and beautiful textured art, this book shows you how to 'see' without your eyes. From out of the blackness, a beautiful rainbow of colours emerges!

Braille letters accompany the illustrations on every page and a full Braille alphabet offers sighted readers help in deciphering the text with their fingers, and sharing an experience usually known by blind readers alone.


"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") 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." Kirkus Reviews

 *Starred Review* Grades K-3. How do you describe the colors of the rainbow to someone who cannot see them? This inventive picture book relates the ways Thomas experiences colors-through his senses of smell, taste, touch, and hearing. To Thomas, red is the sting of a skinned knee or the tartness of an unripe strawberry; green, the scent of freshly mown grass. What is most remarkable about this book’s captivating concept, however, is its execution. Black raised line art is set against black pages that echo Thomas’ spirited imagery and invite readers to explore what it’s like to read with their fingertips. The descriptive, sensory text, which also incorporates white type and Braille, combined with an innovative design, makes this book the perfect starting point for discussions on difference, perspective, and experiencing and describing the world in new ways, topics that are relevant to readers of all ages. Winner of the New Horizons Prize at the 2007 Bologna Children’s Book Fair and originally published in Spanish, the book concludes with a Braille alphabet. --Kristen McKulski, Booklist

Starred Review. "Fascinating, beautifully designed, and possessing broad child appeal, this book belongs on the shelves of every school or public library committed to promoting disability awareness and accessibility. A feast for the fingers."-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, School Library Journal

About the author
Menena Cottin is a graphic designer and illustrator from Caracas, Venezuela.

About the illustrator
Rosana Faria was also born in Caracas. She studied graphic design at the Neumann Design Institute and now works as a children's book illustration and graphic designer.
Release date Australia
March 1st, 2010
Illustrated by Rosana Faria
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Walker Books Ltd
Interest Age
From 3 to 8 years
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