Could your life use a little color and cheer right now? I’ve seen so many wonderful ideas shared about leaving happy sidewalk chalk messages, people pulling out their Christmas lights, and putting happy kid-drawn pictures in front windows as ways to spread joy around neighborhoods at a time when neighbors can’t be… well, neighborly. And, this felt like a terrific time to update our list of favorite rainbow and color books that I published last year! I was able to snag a few new rainbow and color books from our local library just before it closed, and added one from our collection, so I’ve got 4 new titles to add to my list!
I included images of one spread from each book, as well as a photo of the endpages, because they are busting with color and feeling, too! All links for purchase are Amazon Affiliate links, and most age ranges listed are publishers’ recommendations. Always remember that you know your child best, and thank you for considering making a purchase through my links!
The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons by Natascha Biebow, illustrated by Steven Salerno — Do you have children who love to color? With any tool, really, but especially with Crayola materials, or Crayola crayons? Then this book is a must-read in your house, as it tell the story behind the invention of Crayola crayons! Whenever this book is in rotation at our house, it is read on repeat until I put it away high on a bookshelf again (which, trust me, I don’t do because I tire of reading of it– no, this one’s entertaining and informative for adults too! Rather, I hide it away so that we can give other books a chance…). I did a whole review of this book last summer, so you can read more about our love for it here. Ages 6-9.
every color by Erin Eitter Kono — Though this has been around for 3.5 years, it is new to us (and new, apparently, to our library system, too…). Bear lives at the North Pole, surrounded by white and shades of grey, but he longs to see the colors of the world. When a friend appears and pulls him away in her skiff, the two embark on a journey around the world. I love how Kono has tied introducing children to landmarks around the world (information can be found about each spread on the copyright page), as well as shown Bear sending mail to his friends from each stop on his journey. And, be sure to spend time with the Northern Lights spread! Ages 4-8.
Niko Draws a Feeling by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Simone Shin — I fell in love with this one a few years ago, when it was displayed in the art center of our amazing preschool, and I was thrilled to get my hands on it again for this list! In this book, Niko loves to draw, but his drawings are a little more abstract than people around him can really understand. Rather than drawing the sun shining on his face, for example, he draws the *feeling* of the sun on his face. I love how Raczka encourages children to use art, abstract or not, to express their emotions (especially at a time like this!). Ages 5-9.
The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar, illustrated by Alea Marley — Harpreet, an Indian-American Sikh, love to use his patkas (head coverings) to show how he’s feeling inside. He’s got one in just about every color, and he dons them carefully based on the day– red when he needs courage, for example, or gray when he’s feeling sad. But when his family moves across the country, he wears white for a long time, white because he feels shy, “not wanting to be seen.” But once a classmate reaches out to him and lets him know she sees him despite his white patka, his colors start to show again. Be sure to read the endmatter note from Simran Jeet Singh, scholar and professor or Sikhism, about the history of turbans and patkas in the Sikh religion. Ages 3-7.
If you liked this, be sure to check out our full list of favorite Rainbow and Color Books to bring you extra cheer right now!