THE OTHER COLORS by Valerie Gates


An ABC Book
by ; photographed by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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A small, square art project of a volume, attractive and even lovely, but probably not for children at all.

This is an alphabet book. Each opening has a huge letter facing a photograph, and under the letter, a description of half a dozen words or so describes the image. The “alliterations,” as the text is called, all begin with an unusual color name—the titular “other colors”—that describes the background and the object pictured; each word begins with the same letter—no exceptions. Some of these words are easily assimilated: “Azure abalones always attract adoring admirers” places the variegated abalone shell on a bed of azure with glassy spheres around it. There’s ecru, mauve, periwinkle and wisteria, among others, each with an artistically manipulated photograph. The image is fancifully saturated with the color, as “Harlequin hedgehogs” (it’s a shade of green, at least according to the book) match their grassy landscape. “Byzantine” is a deep berry color, and “Fandango” is a deep pink. None of these colors is defined except by the images, so it is hard to know how true they are, and some of the lettering on the paler colors disappears entirely. Reading the words aloud is fun, but the whole is more like an artist’s book than an abecedary for children.

Pretty enough but perhaps a little self-indulgent. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: April 9th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-62087-537-7
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2013


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