Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The BIG Book of Color: An Adventurous Journey into the Magical & Marvelous World of Color! - Walter Foster Jr.

Summary: The Big Book of Color introduces children to the art and science of color through a fun and engaging, easy-to-understand approach. With The Big Book of Color, young artists will be treated to an in-depth exploration of the wonderful world of color through simple step-by-step projects and unique educational content. Commencing with an introduction to color basics, children will learn about the color wheel, complementary colors, warm and cool colors, color mood, and much more. Young artists will also learn how to combine two colors to create new colors. Additionally, they will discover how to use a monochromatic color scheme; pair complementary colors for impact; and all about the various tints, tones, and shades of their favorite colors. The Big Book of Color also invites children to dive into the main color groups and explore the various shades of red, green, blue, yellow, purple, and pink through a range of artwork and a series of colorful, fun step-by-step projects. Myriad creative exercises and projects throughout the book make learning color concepts fun and applicable, while perforated pages make it easy to display new masterpieces. With a plethora of fun projects, easy-to-understand concepts, and pages bursting with color, The Big Book of Color is sure to be a hit for young readers and budding artists everywhere. (Summary and pic from goodreads.com)

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Review: Let me just start off by saying that I have kids. Lots of them. Maybe you have more than I do, but I have four, and I consider that just shy of a small army. Anyway, I am prefacing this whole review with that because I am no kid novice. I know something of children and what they like. I actually do have one kid who is especially talented at art (and yes, I’m completely biased), but the others enjoy it a lot, just like many kids do. So I feel like I’ve been exposed to art and artsy things for kids quite a bit.

So I was ridiculously excited to get this book and guess what? It exceeded my expectations!

First off, it’s beautiful. The cover is really pretty, the colors are bright and fun, and the pictures in the actual book are a vibrant, happy mixture of real photos and drawn. It’s really quite clever and fun. Secondly, this book tackles a lot of information and it does it in a way that I think is both accessible to kids, but is not too basic. For instance, I think it’s too much for my almost-three-year-old, but in a couple of years, I know he’ll love it. My seven-year-old takes art lessons and yet I feel like it had something to teach him even though he’s had quite a bit of exposure to art and color. I read through it first myself, in fact, and although I am no artist, I have been around on this planet for quite a few years and I felt like I still learned some cool things about color while reading it. Foster does a really good job of taking what could possibly be really complex ideas about color and what they can do and how they react with one another and simplifying them to the point that a child can see and understand.

I really liked that this book would teach a concept, show the concept, and then give the kids a chance to try by providing them with places to color or fill in. My only complaint about this book comes here—I wish there was more for them to do at the end of each lesson. I don’t know about your kids, but mine always want to just colorcolorcolor and so when they learn something really cool about color (like they certainly did in this book) they want to colorcolorcolor but there isn’t a lot of places to do that in here.  It is definitely a book that a parent and a child would work on together because it’s more of a teaching than a doing book. That being said, of course they can apply it to other spaces to color outside of this book so it’s not like they’re suffering. Also, this book is pretty substantial so I think it’s a good size and doesn’t really have room for that. My kids were just so inspired! And that, of course, is the point. And a very good thing.

If you are one of those parents who buys activity books for your children (and I’m thinking of the kind that they do over the summer to prepare them for the next grade or for younger children working on learning the alphabet and shapes, etc.), then this is definitely a book I think you would really appreciate. It’s beautiful, it’s educational, and I think it’s really a lot of fun. It seems to be unique in that I haven’t seen another book for teaching kids specifically about color.

My Rating: 5 stars

For the sensitive reader: This is a beautiful, simple, children’s book. It is clean.

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