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The Black Book of Colors Hardcover – June 28, 2008

50 customer reviews

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The Black Book of Colors + Braille for the Sighted (Beginning Braille) + Pocket Braille Cube Learning Device
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 8—With entirely black pages and a bold white text, this is not your typical color book. Meant to be experienced with the fingers instead of the eyes, this extraordinary book allows sighted readers to experience colors the way blind people do: through the other senses. The text, in both print and Braille, presents colors through touch (yellow is "as soft as a baby chick's feathers"), taste (red "as sweet as watermelon"), smell ("green smells like grass that's just been cut"), and sound (brown "crunches…like fall leaves"). Faría's distinctive illustrations present black shapes embossed on a black background for readers to feel instead of see. One page even describes a rainbow. A guide to the Braille alphabet appears at the end of the book. Fascinating, beautifully designed, and possessing broad child appeal, this book belongs on the shelves of every school or public library committed to promoting disability awareness and accessibility. A feast for the fingers.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* How do you describe the colors of the rainbow to someone who cannot see them? This inventive picture book relates the ways Thomas experiences colors—through his senses of smell, taste, touch, and hearing. To Thomas, red is the sting of a skinned knee or the tartness of an unripe strawberry; green, the scent of freshly mown grass. What is most remarkable about this book’s captivating concept, however, is its execution. Black raised line art is set against black pages that echo Thomas’ spirited imagery and invite readers to explore what it’s like to read with their fingertips. The descriptive, sensory text, which also incorporates white type and Braille, combined with an innovative design, makes this book the perfect starting point for discussions on difference, perspective, and experiencing and describing the world in new ways, topics that are relevant to readers of all ages. Winner of the New Horizons Prize at the 2007 Bologna Children’s Book Fair and originally published in Spanish, the book concludes with a Braille alphabet. Grades K-3. --Kristen McKulski
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 5
  • Hardcover: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books (June 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0888998732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0888998736
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 11.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 77 people found the following review helpful By W. Eisenberg on February 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
My Braille reading friends tell me that they CANNOT read this book because it is not real Braille--the dots are not high enough to be readable.

Therefore, if the point is to introduce children to what reading Braille feels like, the authors/publishers are doing an actual disservice because they are not accomplishing that goal, and they are giving a false impression of what Braille is and what it feels like.

I, as a librarian at a library for the blind and disabled, am extremely disappointed.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Ulyyf on October 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a very good book. The concept is innovative, the raised illustrations are engaging (even though they have no color), the language is beautiful.

But the Braille is absolutely unreadable. It's simply not high enough, and it's in "Grade 1" Braille - the most basic (hardest to read) form of Braille out there, with no contractions or abbreviations.

So here you have a book that purports to show you what it's like to be blind, while being completely unusable by blind children. It's kinda like having a wheelchair accessible bathroom at the bottom of a flight of stairs - the thought definitely does NOT count.

If that problem were remedied, then I'd be able to tell all my friends to buy a copy of this book. Until then - three stars. And that's ENTIRELY on potential.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By MonkeyDog on December 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
my mom got this for my daughter who is blind - and I have to say that this is the first book we've gotten that really speaks to experiencing the world beyond that of what we see. It's about color - but from an experience point of view rather than a visual point of view. And the illustrations, are so detailed and lovely. This is a fantastic book - all my daughter's sighted cousins were jealous!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By vagneralbino on August 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 6:21 Mins
I state the reasons why I bought the book and why I think the book is meant for sighted readers only. I also place the book against a strong source of light so you can see the difference between the braille in the book and other sources in which the patterns can be easily felt.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gillian on July 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was so excited when I found that I could order this book from Amazon, but when I received it, the book was tightly sealed in plastic. The braille has been flattened. I am very disappointed that my blind students will not be able to read this book. Books that contain braille should never be tightly shrink wrapped. I will look into sending the book back but if the replacement comes the same way it will arrive ruined also.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By BJB on May 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The concept was fabulous and the words were perfect. I just wish that the braille/raised images were suitable for vision impaired readers. I understand that publication cost was an issue, but don't think that the experience was as authentic a tactile experience as it could have been for sighted readers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J E on December 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I should have read the details about this book... Every single page of this book is black with not a single color, other than the white text. There are "pictures", but they can only be felt with your fingers. There is Braille as well. The description on the product page explains that this book is to show sighted readers what it is like for their blind counterparts.

The problem is that I bought this book so that my blind mother can read a children's book to my three year old son while he read along with her. There is no way he would be entertained by this book since the pages are all black. Also, my mother (who has read Braille for decades) was barely able to read any sentence of this book. She explained that the Braille dots were so light that she had a great deal of difficulty reading.

I guess that it does the job that it is set out to do (show sighted people what it is like), but not good for anyone who is blind or actually reads Braille.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By KAROW on January 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Wholly engaging books that allows kids to visualize the world with their fingertips. In my house we're interested in both art and languages (among a whole host of other things), and I've used this book with my girls to introduce them to Braille and to help them understand figurative language. Several times since we brought this book home I've found the youngest kid curled up in a dark closet with this book practicing her Braille and running her fingers over the raised illustrations.
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