This chapter book for early readers by Australian educators Ireland and Lewer (Literacy for Littlies, 1999) introduces children to colors.
These short stories all center on color themes, opening and closing with tales of rainbows. In between, the works focus on the hues of the spectrum—roughly in ROYGBIV order, although the authors substitute “purple” for “violet”—followed by stories about nonrainbow colors (such as black, turquoise, and gold, among others). Most tales also offer a simple lesson, such as the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer–like “The Little Rainbow Dragon,” in which the titular character is teased by peers for being different until they recognize his unique skill—in this case, breathing rainbow-toned flames. “A Story about Red and Orange” and “A Story about Black” may disturb some younger readers, as they feature a forest fire and scary storm, respectively; however, in both, children work through their fears. Like the dragon, other protagonists feel left out for being different but eventually become accepted. The main characters are primarily white children, but others show a range of skin tones. There are a few anthropomorphic animals and even a tractor with feelings. The inclusion of questions at the ends of some stories (such as “What things can you find that are indigo?”) encourages dialogue between adults and children, and colorful illustrations enhance the text throughout. The farm and country settings in many stories imply a romanticized earlier and simpler time, which may be soothing to young readers but doesn’t break new ground.
Pleasant bedtime reading with unassuming color and morality lessons.