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Groundwood Books

The Black Book of Colors

Written by Menena Cottin • Illustrated by Rosana Faria

For kids 5 - 10 years old | Published June 01, 2008 | ISBN 9780888998736
JUVENILE FICTION / Concepts / Senses & Sensation

Cover of The Black Book of Colors

Regular price $17.95 CAD

24 pages | 11.440 in × 7.000 in
Print Format

About this book

The Black Book of Colors

Menena Cottin • Rosana Faria

A New York Times Book Review choice as one of the 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2008

It is very hard for a sighted person to imagine what it is like to be blind. This groundbreaking, award-winning book endeavors to convey the experience of a person who can only see through his or her sense of touch, taste, smell or hearing.

Raised black line drawings on black paper, which can be deciphered by touch, complement a beautifully written text describing colors through imagery. Braille letters accompany the text so that the sighted reader can begin to imagine what it is like to use Braille to read. A full Braille alphabet at the end of the book can be used to learn more.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.1
Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

About the Creators

Menena Cottin

Menena Cottin studied design and illustration at the Pratt Institute in New York where she began writing books. Her most recent title, The Black Book of Colors, was selected as a School Library Journal Best Books of the Year. She lives in Venezuela.

Rosana Faria

Rosana Faria has illustrated many highly regarded children's books, but illustrating a book to be touched has been her greatest challenge. She lives in Caracas, Venezuela.

Awards and Praise

"...simple, sensuous text...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...Fascinating, challenging and lovely." — Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

"...this non-picture book by a pair of Venezuelan artists reads triumphantly...While the concept is arresting in itself, Thomas' proclamations about color reveal him as a bold, engaging character...It would be a mistake to read the book as a message about how the other senses compensate for blindness: 'compensate' doesn't do justice to all that Thomas offers about what he tastes and feels and hears and smells." — Publishers Weekly, 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." — School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

"The Black Book of Colors [is] an intellectually challenging, graphically remarkable picture book." — New York Times

"What is most remarkable abuot this book's captivating concept...Is its execution." — Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

"This inventive picture book relates the ways the unseen Thomas experiences colors...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." — Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

  • Commended School Library Journal Best Books, 2008
  • Commended Booklist Top 10 Art Books for Youth, 2008
  • Commended Booklist Editors' Choice - Books for Youth, 2008
  • Commended New York Times Best Illustrated Books, 2008
  • Commended NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts, 2009
  • Commended VOYA Nonfiction Honor List, 2008
The Black Book of Colors The Black Book of Colors The Black Book of Colors