A Book About Color

This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.

Title: A Book About Color

Author & Illustrator: Mark Gonyea

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, 2010

Suitable for: Ages 5 – 8

Themes: Color Theory


Introduction to basic color theory such as primary/secondary, the color wheel. Also explains how artists visualize and choose colors.


Book can be used in any classroom setting discussing color and art. A science discussion on primary/secondary colors could lead into a talk about the order of the colors in a rainbow. In Art classes, kids can do activities surrounding unsaturated vs saturated, and how it makes different objects “pop” out of the picture. Here is a link to some coloring pages from the actual book.

Why I Like This Book:

Explains color theory in a simple, easy-to-read format. The publisher has this book rated as ages 9+. However, I feel the simplicity of the book in text and pictures would lend itself better to a younger audience. The book starts off with the basic concepts of primary and secondary colors. Next it cheerfully describes how different colors can represent different things. The book then builds on those concepts to explain how artists choose colors in order to move pictures to the foreground or background. The book also discusses saturation, the color wheel, and complementary colors.


12 Comments to “A Book About Color”

  1. This book sounds really interesting, Darshana. Color is fascinating, and learning how artists select it is something I’d really like to know about, never mind the kids 🙂 I’m going to have to search this one out for sure! Thanks for sharing!

    • i actually learned about complementary colors. i always did wonder about the color combination used in indian clothing. like who came up with mixing orange and blue together, turns out they are complementary colors.

  2. I’m immediately attracted to the brightly colored arrows on the cover — they remind me of crayons, a bright, fresh, new box of crayons eager to become anything that a child’s imagination can come up with.

    This book sounds great, Darshana. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Darshana, I have enjoyed your PPB selections. And, this one is educational, creative and a gem in many ways. I have a friend who saw a color for every number. The colors led her to develop her own way of learning math. She is brilliant individual. Color is so woven into the fabric of life, we still don’t know it’s potential. Again, I loved this selection.

  4. I’m so glad you reviewed this today. My daughter is an artist, and I am going to get this for her for Christmas. I’m sure I’ll learn something too!

  5. I like the simplicity of this book-my art teacher will love this one! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Forget the kids. I think I might need this one.

  7. I think this is just awesome. I didn’t really learn color theory until I was in college. How perfect for a young artist!

  8. Hi! I really like the idea of the book!
    Erik 🙂

  9. “The book also discusses saturation, the color wheel, and complementary colors.” These are all things I would like to learn about myself. This would certainly have appeal to all young children. Great choice, Darshana.

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