Color All Around


Check out National Color Day in the Activities Calendars for weblinks and activities.


Baker, Alan.  White Rabbit’s Color Book.  Kingfisher, 1994.  Gr. Pre-1
White Rabbit shows how primary colors can be mixed when she dips herself into tubs of paint.

Brown, Margaret Wise.  My World of Color.  Illus. by Loretta Krupinski.  Hyperion, 2002.  Gr. Pre-1
In rhymed text, two mice traveling the world discover that it is made up of a palette of colors.

Cabrera, Jane.  Cat’s Colors.  Dial, 1997.  Gr. Pre-1
A kitten in search of its favorite color examines them one-by-one and settles on orange, the color of its mother.

Carle, Eric.  Hello, Red Fox.  Simon & Schuster, 1998.  Gr. K-2
The concept of complementary colors is introduced through the different colored animals attending Little Frog’s birthday party.

Catalanotto, Peter.  Kitten Red, Yellow, Blue.  Atheneum, 2005.  Gr. K-2
When Mrs. Tuttle’s cat has 16 identical kittens, she uses different colored collars to distinguish them and to match them with the professions of their new owners.

Daywalt, Drew.  The Day the Crayons Quit.  Illus. by Oliver Jeffers.  Philomel, 2013.  Gr. K-3
The crayons are bored with their same-old, same-old lives and leave letters for Duncan, their owner, outlining their grievances. With a little creativity, he helps them solve their problems and work harmoniously again. Clever and humorous with delightful illustrations. See also: The Day the Crayons Came Home (2015)

Dodd, Emma.  Dog’s Colorful Day: A Messy Story about Colors and Counting.  Dutton, 2001.  Gr. Pre-1
A white dog with one black spot gets himself into all sorts of messes with color until he eventually has 10 colored spots on his body. At bedtime when he is washed clean, he dreams of multicolored bones.

Dunbar, Polly.  Flyaway Katie.  Candlewick, 2004.  Gr. K-2
On a gloomy, gray day, Katie discovers that her days becomes brighter when she adds colors to her life

Duncan, Pamela Edwards.  Warthogs Paint: A Messy Color Book.  Illus. by Henry Cole.  Hyperion, 2001.  Gr. K-2
The warthogs learn about mixing colors when they make a mess of painting their kitchen.

Ehlert, Lois.  Planting a Rainbow.  Harcourt, 1988.  Gr. Pre-2
Simple sentences relate the planning, planting, and picking of flowers in a garden. The flowers, all labeled, burst with brilliant colors.

Fleming, Denise.  Lunch.  Henry Holt, 1992.  Gr. Pre-1
A hungry mouse nibbles through foods of different colors. Rich use of adjectives to describe the foods. Fleming’s signature homemade paper collage illustrations are large and colorful.

Frame, Jeron Ashford.  Yesterday I Had the Blues.  Illus. by R. Gregory Christie.  Tricycle Press, 2003.
Gr. K-4
Rhythmic text explores the feelings an African America boy sees in himself and others through colors. Good expression of metaphor and excellent example of word choice for writing lessons.

Gonzalez, Maya Christina.  My Colors, My World/ Mis colores, mi mundo.  Children’s Book Press, 2007.  Gr. K-2
Maya initially thinks her desert world has little color until she discovers the color in objects all around her. The bilingual Spanish and English text is complemented by brightly colored illustrations.

Hall, Michael.  Red: A Crayon's Story.  Greenwillow, 2015.  Gr. K-3
Crayon Red is labeled red, but he always colors blue, a source of great frustration to himself and to all the other crayons. The crayons assess the situation. Art supplies offer solutions, but nothing works until Red drops his label and proclaims "I'm blue!" Adults will see this as a book with a "message," but children will appreciate it for the humor in both the text and illustrations.

Hindley, Judy.  Song of Colors.  Illus. by Mike Bostock.  Candlewick, 1998.  Gr. 2-6
Collection of poetry in which the poems about individual colors make extensive use of color vocabulary.

Hoban, Tana.  Colors Everywhere.  Greenwillow, 1995.  Gr. Pre-1
Hoban’s signature photographs portray the colorful world around us in this wordless book. Each photograph is accompanied by a grid of the colors in the photo, enabling viewers to pick out the colors. (also: Is It Red? Is It Yellow? Is It Blue? and Of Colors And Things)

Horacek, Judy.  Yellow Is My Color Star.  Beach Lane, 2014.  Gr. Pre-2
Rhymed text celebrates color and why we have certain favorites.

Houblon, Marie.  A World of Colors: Seeing Colors in a New Way.  National Geographic Children’s Books, 2009.  Gr. Pre-2
Photographs and a simple, interactive text invite readers to find colors in scenes from all over the world after an introduction to individual colors. The book also encourages readers to view colors in different ways.

Hubbard, Patricia.  My Crayons Talk.  Illus. by G. Brian Karas.  Henry Holt, 1996.  Gr. K-2
As a little girl draws a picture, 12 crayons, true to their colors, talk to her.

Jay, Alison.  Red Green Blue: A First Book of Colors.  Dutton, 2010.  Gr. Pre-1
A small boy learns colors by visiting nursery rhyme characters.

Jonas, Ann.  Color Dance.  Greenwillow, 1989.  Gr. K-2
In this beautifully designed book, dancing children waving colorful scarves teach the principles of mixing primary colors. Color vocabulary (e.g., “vermillion,” “chartreuse”) is introduced to show differences in shade.

Konigsburg, E.L.  Samuel Todd's Great Book of Colors.  Atheneum, 1990.  Gr. Pre-1
Simple, colorful paintings accompany a text about the colors of objects.

Lehrhaupt, Adam.  I Don't Draw, I Color!  Illus. by Felecita Sala.  Simon & Schuster, 2017.  Gr. K-3
This tale that explores the power of color as it relates to emotions is sure to appeal to budding artists.

Luján, Jorge.  Colors! Colores!  Illus. by Piet Grobler.  Groundwood, 2008.  Gr. Pre-2
Lyrical text in both English and Spanish and lush watercolor illustrations celebrate the colors of the natural world.

McMillan, Bruce.  Growing Colors.  HarperCollins, 1988.  Gr. Pre-1
Full-color photographs accompanied by a color word showcase 14 fruits and vegetables. A picture glossary of the plants and colors used is appended.

O’Neill, Mary.  Hailstones and Halibut Bones.  Illus. by Leonard Weisgard.  Doubleday, 1961; reissued, illus. by John Wallner, 1989.  Gr. 1-5
Collection of poems, each about a different color, in which examples of objects having that color are mentioned.

Park, Linda Sue.  What Does Bunny See?: A Book of Colors and Flowers.  Illus. by Maggie Smith.  Clarion, 2005.  Gr. Pre-1
Written in rhymed text, a rabbit wanders through a garden of colorful flowers.

Pinkney, Sandra L.  A Rainbow All Around Me.  Holiday House, 2010.  Gr. Pre-1
Through a lively text and fabulous full-color photographs, a multiethnic cast of children presents each color of the rainbow.

Reed, Lynn Rowe.  Color Chaos!  Photos by Myles C. Pinkney.  Scholastic, 2010.  Gr. K-2
Color is not allowed in school, and Colin's new box of crayons gets dumped in the trash. They are not about to give in, however, and form themselves in a color wheel to roll out of the trash can. They bonk the principal's head, spilling color all over. Eye-popping illustrations!

Serfozo, Mary.  Who Said Red?  Illus. by Keiko Narahashi.  McElderry, 1988.  Gr. K-2
A little girl continually asks her little brother if “red” is actually what he’s after when there are objects in so many other wonderful colors around. Soft watercolor illustrations reinforce the color concepts.

Dr. Seuss.  My Many Colored Days.  Illus. by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher.  Knopf, 1996.  Gr. K-1
Seuss’s typical catchy rhyme assigns colors to different moods through a rather bland child who turns into animals of different colors.

Shahan, Sherry.  Spicy Hot Colors/Colores Picantes.  Illus. by Paula Barragán.  August House, 2004.
Gr. K-2
Splashy cut-paper illustrations and jazzy, rhythmic text with the color words in both English and Spanish introduce nine colors.

Shannon, George.  White is for Blueberry.  Illus. by Laura Dronzek.  Greenwillow, 2005.  Gr. 1-3
Simple text and bright acrylic illustrations encourage readers to make predictions about color clues and seemingly disconnected objects. For example, “Pink is for crow…,” and a turn of the page reveals that when crows are just hatched, they are pink.

Spinelli, Eileen.  If You Want to Find Golden.  Illus. by Stacey Schuett.  Albert Whitman, 1993.  Gr. K-2
A little boy and his mother find color in every aspect of their urban neighborhood.

Tafuri, Nancy.  Blue Goose.  Simon & Schuster, 2008.  Gr. Pre-K
As a surprise for Farmer Gray, Blue Goose, Red Hen, Yellow Chick, and White Duck paint everything on their black and white farm the colors that they are.

Thong, Roseanne.  Red Is a Dragon: A Book of Colors.  Illus. by Grace Lin.  Chronicle, 2001.  Gr. K-2
Large, vibrant illustrations complement a rhymed text in which a little girl celebrates her Chinese heritage by looking at the colors of objects.

Thong, Roseanne Greenfield.  Green Is a Chile Pepper.  Illus. by John Parra.  Candlewick, 2014.  Gr. K-2
Rhymed text takes a boy and girl around their Latino community pointing out the colors of the many things they see. Color words are translated into Spanish. Vibrant illustrations. Appended glossary extends concepts in the text.

Walsh, Ellen Stoll.  Mouse Paint.  Harcourt, 1989.  Gr. K-2
When three white mice find three jars of paint, one red, one yellow, and one blue, they begin mixing and dancing and swirling and having a grand time. (also: Mouse Magic)

Westray, Kathleen.  A Color Sampler.  Ticknor & Fields, 1993.  Gr. 1-4
Patchwork quilt patterns accompany the explanation of how colors mix, how they are lightened and darkened, and how their arrangement can create optical illusions.

Wolff, Ashley.  Baby Bear Sees Blue.  Beach Lane, 2012.  Gr. Pre-1
A baby bear cub's day is filled with new experiences and COLOR as he continually asks his mother about everything he sees. She answers all of his questions, and after each response, a turn of the page indicates the color that Baby Bear sees. Full-page linoleum block print and watercolor illustrations are gorgeous.

Wood, Audrey.  The Deep Blue Sea.  Illus. by Bruce Wood.  Scholastic, 2005.  Gr. K-1
Vividly colored computer-generated illustrations provide eye-catching interest to a cumulative text about a rock in a deep blue sea to which other colorful objects are added before a storm comes up and finally a rainbow appears.

Yolen, Jane.  Color Me a Rhyme: Nature Poems for Young People.  Photos by Jason Stemple.  Boyds Mills, 2000.  Gr. 1-6
In double-paged spreads, poems full of visual imagery are illustrated with photographs of objects and color words.

Young, Jessica.  My Blue Is Happy.  Illus. by Catia Chien.  Candlewick, 2013. Gr. K-3
A little girl realizes that different colors (nine in this story) evoke different feelings depending on who she's talking to. Her feelings about colors are personal and unique. Good book for encouraging creative thought and discussion.

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