What‘s Your Favourite Colour?
Eric Carle and Friends
Herein, Eric Carle and fourteen other picture book artists, many of whom UK readers might be unfamiliar with, share and discuss their favourite colours.
Carle himself, who opens the book, favours yellow, in part because it presents him with an artistic challenge.
The reasons for the choices of others are varied and what they have to say, sometimes surprising.
Take say Jill McElmurry’s Black Garden, an imaginary place where she goes to ‘get lost in my thoughts, dance around, have a good cry, sing a song, paint a picture, or maybe eat a slice of dark chocolate cake. The Black Garden is unpredictable. The Black Garden is the garden of me.’
Some artists such as Philip C. Stead, Yuyi Morales and Melissa Sweet use poetry. Melissa Sweet’s Maine Morning Grey comes in many shades:
Others are more particular. Marc Martin specifies crimson red for the parrot, crimson rosella, which lives in his part of south eastern Australia.
Anna Dewdney’s choice is based on memory ‘When I was a little girl, my favourite outfit was my purple polyester trouser suit, and I wanted purple peacocks in the front garden. When I grew up, I got them.’
The final artist, Uri Shulevitz, doesn’t choose just one colour. ‘A single colour may feel lonely,’ he tells us and so paints a joyful ‘colourful party’ to include them all.
Every spread is worth lingering over and I find it well nigh impossible to choose a favourite but for its brief potency I particularly loved Etienne Delessert’s Indigo: ‘The Tuareg nomads wear long cotton indigo veils. They herd camels and goats and talk to the spirits of the Sahara Desert.’
Thumbnail pen portraits on the final spread provide additional information about each of the contributors.
Fascinating and inspiring, this visual and verbal feast offers an excellent starting point for an exploration of colour with a wide range of age groups from pre-schoolers to adults.