Review by Charlotte Mundy
Candlewick Studio, 2020
16 pages, Board Book, $19.99 CAD, 9781536214741
Ages 4 – 8 years
My favorite color is yellow. Yellow, like the sun in a clear blue sky. Actually, I think blue is my favorite. Blue, like ripples on an emerald sea. Then again, green’s a good one, too.
Aaron Becker’s My Favorite Color is a poetic board book that dives into the many different colours of the world. Choosing a favourite colour can prove to be challenging, especially when there are so many good ones! Can we choose more than one? My Favorite Color attempts to answer just that.
Each page is patterned with a grid of colours against a white or black backdrop. Some of the squares are translucent, adding a level of interactivity to the book. One page may be many shades of yellow, while the next page may be many shades of red. The interactive nature of the book provides an educational reading experience: as pages turn and the coloured translucent squares overlap, reds and yellows make oranges, or yellows and blues make greens. This visualization of forming new colours makes for a fantastic read in a classroom or at home when introducing colours to young minds!
While educational, the illustrations in their square grids do appear restrained, with every colour strictly occupying its own space. As a reader, I hoped for fun explosions of colour instead of organized grids. I kept expecting the next page to show colours breaking out of every square and running free, making for a more exciting read. While the interactivity of the book feels unique and interesting, the organization of the squares on every page feels too constrained. I wanted to see more colours radiate across the pages in reds and blues or yellows and pinks!
Though the coloured squares are confined, Aaron Becker’s word choices are beautiful. From “clear blue skies,” “emerald seas,” and “purple hues of night,” the author-illustrator uses stunning descriptions to allow the reader to conjure up their own imagery. The square colours accompany the text beautifully, the combination burning pictures into my imagination. I saw dusty pink sunsets and bowls of pretty fruits, but even so, I yearned for more colour and interactivity.
My Favorite Color is an interactive and educational board book that follows Aaron Becker’s, You Are Light. Appearing restrained on colours and illustrations, this might not be a child’s first choice when reaching for a book off the shelf. Yet, as an introduction to colours or as a stunning poetic read, this book might find a place in a teacher’s classroom or with a parent teaching colours to their child.
Charlotte Mundy completed her undergraduate with a BSc in Nursing. Living with the curse of creativity while working in a scientific field, she has been taking writing courses at UBC to satisfy her appetite for literature. She has always enjoyed reading and writing and hopes to one day become an author.