Book Reviews :: Montessori Sensorial :: Colors :: Part 2

In an effort to utilize my librarian background, I am embarking on a series of book reviews, to be published every Friday. These reviews will cover computer programming books aimed at children, as well as reality-based children’s books.

What better way to learn the names of colors than to use some paint! Outside, with newspapers, of course.

What better way to learn the names of colors than to use some paint! Outside…with newspapers, of course.

In Part One of the Sensorial color series, I focused on books for a younger audience. The books in this post are more appropriate for those children who are familiar with the concept of colors and know most of their names. They will be thrilled to point and identify the colors as you turn each page…anything to prolong the bedtime routine, right?

Ages 3.5 and up
Stockland, Patricia M. Red Eyes or Blue Feathers.: A Book About Animal Colors. Illustrated by Todd Ouren. Picture Window Books: Minneapolis, Minnesota: 2005.
Although the content and language are more appropriate for a one-on-one setting, this book would still be a good choice for circle time in a primary classroom. Each two-page spread features a brightly-colored animal with a brief description of how the animal’s coloring helps it to hide, hunt or attract a mate. The descriptions are short enough and the paper-cut illustrations are big enough (and bright enough) to hold a younger child’s attention. Use this book when discussing colors, animal adaptations or even when making paper-cuts in art (for an older audience).


Ages 3.5 and up
Tullet, Hervé. Mix it Up! Chronicle Books: New York, 2014.
This simple, yet interactive little book will delight those young children who need to touch the pages during storytime. This hands-on book invites them to “touch” the paint on the page and mix it to make new colors. The colors on each page are smudges that resemble paint and it looks as if the paint was mixed by hand.  Obviously, this book is best read on a one-to-one basis, but one could also read this book in a small group setting where each child has a chance to participate. Perfect for pairing up with a lesson on primary and secondary colors.

IMG_0583 IMG_0582I have found that young children have a hard time making the distinction between primary and secondary colors, but they all enjoy mixing colors to make new ones. Another great hands-on lesson is to make different colored playdough. This could be a fun and informative “work” for the Sensorial shelf in a primary classroom.

I’ve heard good things about Tullet’s other book, Press Here. I also like the book Mouse Paint for an older audience – around six-years-old. At this point, they have a solid foundation between fantasy and reality and this story emphasizes the primary and secondary colors in a very silly way (white mice and a black cat). For your less verbal children, this creates a story of pictures in their head, which is often an easier way for them to remember new vocabulary.