“What can you make out of colors?” is the question posed by this simple board book.
Red, yellow, blue, white, and black are introduced. Then each spread uses two of the basic colors to create a third color or tint, illustrated by an animal. Black plus white makes a gray kitten; white plus red makes a pink piglet, and so on, the second color from each combination becoming the first of the next after the turn of the page. The pictures tell the story without any wordy instruction. The colors are not bright; they are printed on a matte finish, and when combined, they are sometimes muddy. This affects the red/blue illustration the most. The purple octopus could have used more blue; it looks more burgundy than purple, which may not make the concept clear for very young children. Each animal is repeated in thumbnail against white on the last spread, which helps to mitigate the muddiness. Contrast can also be a problem. The word “yellow,” written in white on yellow, disappears into its background. The first and last spreads might be wasted space, decorated with splotches of colors in varying shades, unless parents or teachers use them as a pointing game.
With so many excellent board books about color on the market, those with limited budgets can safely pass on this pale contribution to the spectrum. (Board book. 18 mos.-4)