Book Reviews :: Montessori Sensorial :: Color

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.

Sensorial materials from a primary classroom

Sensorial materials from a primary classroom

According to my AMS primary training, color is a part of the “visual” branch of the Sensorial materials. The visual materials include size, color and form (shape and solids). Many late three-and four-year-olds come into a classroom already knowing their colors. Occasionally, I see a student who has a hard time distinguishing between gray, black and brown and a young three-year-old may still be confused as to the names of colors. Color concept books are a welcome addition to the home and classroom.

Eager parents can start these books at home with their young child. You will be teaching them new concepts without having to do any formal lessons. If only we could learn everything that way! All of the books for this week are for very young children. The books next week will continue to discuss colors, but with a focus on finding new patterns within our world.

Ages 2 and up
Hoban, Tana. Is it red? Is it yellow? Is it blue?: an adventure in color. Mulberry Paperback Book: New York, 1978.
Although this book was published the year I was born, it is still a relevant and intriguing book. Young listeners will want to touch the circles of color that show up on each page while adults name them. This wordless book features photographs of colorful objects and everyday scenes. There are red and green apples, a line of brightly-colored cars and a gumball machine. At the bottom of each page, Hoban has included dots of color – to be found within each photograph. This book is best in a one-to-one setting, snuggled up with your two-year-old. They will delight in finding the colors in the everyday objects and you will happily name them over and over again.

Tana Hoban

Tana Hoban

Ages 2 and up
McMillan, Bruce. Growing Colors. HarperCollins Publishers. New York: 1988.
With large, bright photographs, this book displays the different colors of select fruits and vegetables. The color word is written in block text and filled with the featured color. For example, RED is shown in red, with a full-size , enlarged picture of raspberries. PURPLE has a detailed picture of purple string beans. On the opposite page, a small picture of the bean plant is also shown. This book is perfect for a circle time discussion of fruits and vegetables and naming the colors. The only text is the color word, allowing young children the ability to focus on the crisp pictures.

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Bruce McMillan’s Growing Colors

Ages 2.5 and up
Hopgood, Tim. Wow! Said the Owl. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux : New York, 2009.
A semi-realistic story, which follows a little owl as she stays awake one day to discover all of the wonderful colors in the landscape. The owl does not speak, other than to say “Wow” which could be translated into “ooh” by the teacher. A simple story introduces the concept of color and encourages youngsters to look for the color in their everyday world.

Ages 2 and up
Murphy, Stewart J. Beep Beep, Vroom Vroom! Illustrated by Chris Demarest. HarperCollins Publishers: New York, 2000.
Kevin’s little sister, Molly, really wants to play with his red, yellow and blue cars, but Kevin is afraid that she will break them. Kevin also has a certain way he likes to line up his cars. So when Molly sneaks upstairs to play with Kevin’s cars, her mother finds her and helps her to put the cars away – but in the wrong order. Happily, Molly continues to play and her dad sees her and helps Molly to line up the cars in a completely different, but still incorrect, pattern. Savvy children will notice and remember the different patterns, but the author does not point it out. In the end, Molly remembers the order of Kevin’s cars and neatly lines them up before returning downstairs to join the family.

Stuart Murphy's Beep Beep, Vroom Vroom book of colors and patterns.

Stuart Murphy’s Beep Beep, Vroom Vroom book of colors and patterns.