The Big Book of Color
written by Stephanie Meissner; illustrated by Lisa Martin and Damian Barlow
2015 (Walter Foster Jr.)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
When you look at the cover of this book, you might expect a cutesy book for really young readers. It is a cute book, but this also contains high level information for budding artists. The color wheel starts the fun with several examples of how primary colors combine to make secondary colors. On the following spread, you learn about tertiary colors. These are when you mix a primary color with a secondary color. You know, the really cool colors in that box of 32 crayons like blue-green and yellow-orange. One of the great features of The Big Book of Color is the opportunity for readers to try out the techniques they are being taught. With the color wheel, readers complete their own with a blank wheel in the back.
Now the vocabulary kicks into another gear. New terms that I learned include complementary colors which are the colors opposite of each other on the color wheel. Think purple and yellow or orange and blue. Highlighting this section is a beautiful two page spread showing complementary colors in nature. Analogous colors follow. They are the colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Another feature of natural occurrences of these colors accompanies this section. Color and value talks about how you can add white, black, or gray to create different values. Features on monochromatic colors, warm and cool colors, and color mood round out the high level vocabulary.
The final section highlights individual colors by categorizing them, showcasing items that are this color, fun facts about the color, and different hues of the color. Each eight page section is a colorful splash of information. There is also a place for the reader to play with the color at the end of each color piece.
This is a terrific book for students who are interested in art. They will learn a lot of new information and get a chance to play with that new knowledge. I'm very impressed with the vocabulary and the attractiveness of the illustrations. This would be a great birthday gift for a kid. It would also be a nice addition to a kindergarten class that was learning their colors.