From School Library Journal
Grade 1–5—"Welcome to the Neighborhood" begins this introduction to color theory. Information is divided into seven short chapters, beginning on Color Street where six houses shaped like upward-pointing arrows pop out against a black-and-white background. Primary colors are introduced, and the resulting secondary colors are explained in white text on bright solid-colored pages. Next, monochromatic illustrations accompany simple ideas associated with each color ("Blue is calm. Blue is wet."). Properties such as warmth, saturation, and value are presented with clarity. Finally, the houses on Color Street turn to form the familiar shape of a color wheel, bringing this explanation full circle. While books ranging from Kathleen Westray's A Color Sampler
(Houghton, 1993) to Etienne Delessert's Full Color
(Creative Editions, 2008) cover similar material, there is still something uniquely appealing about Gonyea's treatment that makes this introduction to color a primary selection.—Lisa Glasscock, Columbine Public Library, Littleton, CO
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Gonyea, the author of A Book about Design: Complicated Doesn’t Make It Good (2005) and Another Book about Design: Complicated Doesn’t Make It Bad (2007), returns to the familiar square format to introduce color theory. Topics presented include primary and secondary colors, warm and cool colors, saturation, and the addition of black and white. In the digital illustrations, simple forms in solid colors stand out sharply against white or other solid-color backgrounds. Though usually short, pithy, and conversational, the text is occasionally ambiguous. Complementary colors are said to “work well together,” while (a few pages later) analogous colors are also said to “work well together,” with little distinction made between the very different ways that these color combinations interact. Although visual rather than verbal content is the selling point here, this attractive volume offers plenty to observe, ponder, and discuss. Classroom teachers and art specialists will find the book a good entry point for discussing basic ideas about colors. Grades 2-5. --Carolyn Phelan