Review Blog

Oct 30 2012

Sky color by Peter H. Reynolds

cover image

Candlewick Press, 2012. ISBN 978 0 7636 2345 6.
(Age: 4+) Picture book. Art. When the whole class is asked to create a mural for their library, Marisol volunteers to paint the sky. After all she is the artist in the class, the one who paints and draws, creating her own art gallery on the fridge at home. Going through the paint box at school, she is disappointed when she cannot find the colour blue.
But when she takes the bus home she spies a beautiful sunset, with no blue in sight. And the next morning when it is raining, she notices that yet again the sky is not blue. So begins a transformation in her thinking about what colour to paint the sky and she surprises everyone with her final choice.
The illustrations add to the humour of Marisol's quest, and the drawings of the girl and her class will tickle the readers' fancies as they see themselves in the story, and can identify with the things Marisol and the class do.
Through this book and the two others in the series, The Dot and Ish, Reynolds aims to encourage children to be part of the creative process, looking at things anew, with a new focus. And in this he succeeds. What child will not be encouraged to re-look at the sky, for a start, to see exactly what colours do make up the panorama that they see everyday but do not really look at. Cliches can be overturned using the approach used in this book, and its use will encourage art lessons to be wider in their focus.
Fran Knight

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