The Black Book of Colors offers a rare opportunity to experience reading in a completely different way.

The Black Book of Colors

Picture Book

Ages 3 and Up

Written by Menena Cottin

Illustrated by Rosana Faria

Translated by Elisa Amado

24 pages

Groundwood Books

2006

 

Consider for a moment trying to describe a color, any color, to a person who is blind, a person who has never had sight. One might employ descriptors for sound, touch, and taste to give as broad an explanation as possible. This fascinating book takes on that difficult task, and does so beautifully.

The Black Book of Colors was created to give sighted people a glimpse into the world of a non-sighted person. The expressive text is shown in white type against a black background and vividly describes several colors. Above the printed text the same words are spelled out in braille. A tactile writing system for the blind, the letters are created with raised dots. The back page features the entire braille alphabet.

To encourage the reader to view the book with their hands, the illustrations are created in relief. The raised, black images are set against a black background. Though black on black, the images can clearly be seen—the art is glossy while the page is matte.

I photographed these pages at an angle to demonstrate the effect.

The opening page reads, “Thomas says that yellow tastes like mustard, but is as soft as a baby chick’s feathers.”

The letter-by-letter braille translation appears above the white, typed text. The start of a braille sentence is indicated by a single dot. Three dots creating an upper right corner mark the end of a sentence. On the entirely black page opposite the text, thirteen black feathers, of varying sizes, softly blow by.

Red can hurt, like a scraped knee. Brown might sound like crunching leaves and sometimes smells like chocolate. Green tastes like lemon ice and smells like fresh cut grass. Black, soft as silk, is the king of colors.

This innovative book offers children and adults a unique exercise in abstract thought, and a rare opportunity to experience reading in a completely different way.

 

View on Powell’s

View on Amazon

About these ads

54 Responses so far

  1. 1

    I’m a librarian; so, I already love books — but this is quite a find! I’m delighted to share your post, and excited about getting my own copy of this book! Thank you!

  2. 2

    toppersbooks said,

    This is fantastic! I’m always looking for books for my cousins that can expose them to experiences they might not be aware of of and I’m so happy that I found this one!

  3. 3

    [...] The Black Book of Colors offers a rare opportunity to experience reading in a completely different w…. [...]

  4. 5

    sharyn721 said,

    Wonderful post and a unique perspective indeed. My mother was blind, not from birth though, and my then-7-year-old daughter read to her frequently and described things to her in a way that adults filtered. My mother enjoyed it tremendously.


Comment RSS

Comments are closed.

Children's Books Heal

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. -- Margaret Mead

prettybooks

Fiction, Young Adult and Children's Books & Reviews

Design of the Picture Book

the intersection of graphic design + picture books

David Gaughran

Let's Get Digital

BookPeople's Blog

Austin's largest independent bookstore since 1970 - 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

The Librarian Who Doesn't Say Shhh!

Opening books to open minds.

This Kid Reviews Books

A Place for Kids and Grown-Ups to Discover Books

Kid Lit Reviews

Honest, Thoughtful Reviews

Loren Long

children’s book illustrator and author

Creative Grove Artist & Designer Market

Monthly festivals, every third Friday 3-9,- Grove Street PATH Plaza, Jersey City, NJ

Delightful Children's Books

Find a book to delight a child.

Book Blogger Directory

The Big Blog of Book Blogs

Nerdy Book Club

A community of readers

Sommer Reading

A Blog About Books

educating alice

monica edinger, teacher and reader of children's literature

Bobs Books Blog

Childrens and Young Adult Book Reviews by Bob Docherty

Random Acts of Reading

reviews, raves and a random assortment of book buzz

children's books for grown-ups

Natasha Worswick's blog

Watch. Connect. Read.

Children's Book Reviews

Book-A-Day Almanac

Children's Book Reviews

100 Scope Notes

Children's Lit

Children's Book Reviews

TurtleAndRobot.com

Children's Book Reviews

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,952 other followers

%d bloggers like this: