NAMING COLORS by Ariane Dewey


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Age Range: 7 - 10
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 How and why did the names for the almost infinite varieties of colors evolve and enter the English language? Dewey (The Narrow Escapes of Davey Crockett, Morrow, 1993, etc.) makes a lively attempt at tackling this unwieldy topic. She helpfully includes the origins of paints and pigments and mostly succeeds in keeping readers engaged with the aid of her now familiar, humorous paintings. Color is a constant in human experience and Dewey traces the history of and the names for colors from Neolithic times to the present. Black and white are the color concepts universally identified first. Red, yellow, green, blue, brown, purple, pink, orange, and gray follow, although many languages do not have names for each of these. Teachers looking for information on primary colors or the rainbow will have to go elsewhere but the more venturesome will enjoy this far-ranging approach, for Dewey effectively links color with history, the natural sciences, and technology; they will relish the facts not easily found in more staid surveys. An attractive volume; don't miss the index, which includes a brushstroke of each color coupled with its name and page reference. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 30th, 1995
ISBN: 0-06-021291-8
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1995


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