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A BOOK ABOUT COLOR by Mark Gonyea

A BOOK ABOUT COLOR

A Clear and Simple Guide for Young Artists

By Mark Gonyea (Author) , Mark Gonyea (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: April 13th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9055-0
Publisher: Henry Holt

This shiny, cheerful lesson has mixed success conveying concepts. Well-chosen subject matter includes definitions, color mixing and color vibes. Unfortunately, the arbitrary organization calls each hue a “house” on “Color Street,” making the spectrum linear rather than circular. (A color wheel appears only at the end.) Hue implications are intriguing (“Red is loving. / Red is dangerous. / Orange is cheerful. / Orange is powerful”), but low value gets the shaft (“Darker values have more black and can make things seem creepy and menacing”—yes, sometimes, but what about cozy Goodnight Moon?). The text clearly explains mixing primaries to create secondaries, but large, blocky cut-paper–style digital shapes don’t show blending the way paint—or digital images chipped into smaller bits—could have. Most egregious is an error defining complementary colors as the primary and secondary that “work well together... / [l]ike” Christmas’s red and green; that’s the common-usage definition of “complementary,” whereas the technical art term “complementary” means sitting opposite on the color wheel and creating a neutral gray/brown when mixed. Bright, glossy and flawed; excellent idea, less-than-excellent execution. (Informational picture book. 6-10)