A Rainbow in Brown

Holt. Mar. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250874368.
PreS-Gr 2–Readers will think of rainbows in a whole new way after experiencing this imaginative book. Josephine is a young brown-skinned girl who is excited to experiment with paint colors. She starts with the basics (red, blue, and yellow) and proclaims each to be her favorite—that is, until real magic happens when she accidentally spills some orange paint into a bit of blue. “What was this beautiful, breathtaking color?”—a gorgeous shade of brown. Jo doesn’t stop there; she mixes even more combinations of colors to get varying shades of brown, until she gets the perfect shade to paint a picture of her family, and ultimately, her own portrait. Exuberant pen, watercolor, and colored pencil illustrations seem to burst from the page, and as the story progresses, Jo herself becomes part of the pictures, painting a swirl of brown breads, birds, and butterflies. Great for kids from preschool on, this is a fantastic book to use with lessons on color and art and a great conversation starter on skin color.
VERDICT A joyful choice that explores color in a deeply personal way. Highly recommended.

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