CM . . . .
Volume V Number 15 . . . . March 26, 1999
Blue of distance, blue of sloes,These opening lines of A Song of Colors are an indication of the level of sophistication in the language chosen to describe each colour. Every two-page spread is devoted to a separate colour and is comprised of a poem surrounded by richly illustrated objects associated with the colour. Primary classes studying the concept of colour for the first time would have difficulty with the language as evidenced in the excerpt. I believe the poems would be better appreciated in the elementary or even the middle school class looking for examples of imagery in the language of poetry. They contain many fresh and unusual observations such as the "white of the smooth inside of an egg" or "the yellow of a poisonous film on chemical pools!"
Primary classes would enjoy pointing out what they can see in Mike Bostock's multi-layered illustrations on each page. His imaginative juxtaposition of people, objects and places even makes the colour "gray" seem appealing. There are many surprises in unusual images chosen to depict each colour. Besides the blue of the woad stained face of the Celtic warrior, we have the black of a coal miner's face after his shift and the pink of the inside of a hippo's yawning mouth!
Helen Arkos is the teacher-librarian at John Pritchard School in Winnipeg, MB.
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