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4.6 out of 5 stars
My Many Colored Days
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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is very different from other Dr. Seuss books. First, the whimsical rhymes and made-up words which characterize Seuss in such classics as One Fish, Two Fish..., and The Lorax are absent here. Instead there is a simple elegance in couplets which brings colors and images together with emotions and moods. Second, the playful cartoon-style illustrations of more light-hearted classics are replaced by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher's more abstract paintings. These paintings cover the whole page with deep colors, drenched in emotion. Between the wonderful images suggested by the couplets and the engaging art (not illustration!) this book brings home a message to kids of all ages about the acceptability of their moods and emotions.
My daughters' reaction to this book has been tremendous. My older daughter (4 y.o.) wants to linger on each page to examine the art while my younger daughter (10 mos.) tries to feel the texture of the paint. I can see their faces reacting to the feelings suggested by each color and rhyme. We don't have many children's books that are 'illustrated' in a manner as poignant as this book (but we have an extensive library which most of the classics). Yet despite the 'message' it is never preachy - just a matter-of-fact statement that we all have emotions and they are all OK. Seuss provides the images as a frame of reference to help kids understand and explain them, which is especially helpful for little ones who haven't yet developed the vocabulary and reasoning to figure it out for themselves.
The best benefit is not necessarily even for kids to understand themselves, but to help kids understand grow-ups' moods - why mommy is tired after a long day at work, or why daddy is frustrated when he burns dinner, etc. I can just tell my daughters that I am in a 'grey' mood for a while, and all becomes crystal clear!
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
Early in his career, Dr. Seuss wrote many books as Theo. LeSieg (the last name being his own name of Geisel in reverse) that were illustrated by others. In 1973, he wrote the rhymes for this book, but wanted someone else to illustrate it. After his death, his wife brought the book to his publisher's attention. Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher have created a book filled with stunning paintings and fascinating typography to bring Dr. Seuss's range of daily moods and emotions alive. Using this story, people can communicate these feelings more vividly and accurately to one another.
The book is obviously inspired by the common sentence you've heard many times, "I'm feeling blue today."
"Some days are yellow.
Some are blue.
On different days
I'm different too."
"You'd be
surprised
how many ways
I change on Different
Colored
Days."
Most colors are also associated with an animal. Red is a horse kicking up its heels. Brown is a bear, "slow and low." On a yellow day, "I am a busy, buzzy bee." On a green day, he's a "cool and quiet fish." On a happy pink day, he's a flamingo! On black days, he becomes a howling wolf. He even has mixed-up days, when he is several colors at once (disguised as a cut-out cookie of a person).
He's reassuring, as always, in the end.
"But it all turns out all right,
you see.
And I go back to being me."
The paintings in the book are remarkable for the simple, fundamental images they represent . . . both building on and adding to our mental archetypes. They also use color and shape well to create a mood over two colorful pages. Further, the texture of painting is almost palpable to the touch, adding an appreciation for depth and context for the viewer or reader.
One way you can use this book is to ask your child what color he or she is today. You can also communicate your color, as well. You can each learn more about how to change one another's not-so-attractive colors in this way, or to help sustain desirable ones. I know of no other book that is so effective at creating concepts and vocabulary for conveying emotions and moods.
I suggest that you extend this book by adding other colors and images that capture moods and emotions that are not represented here. And don't feel like you have to limit this to your child. Adults can benefit from this perspective and way of communicating as well.
Live vividly and colorfully in ways that please you!
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My in-laws got me this book shortly after I married my husband. They knew that I collect children's books and thought that I would like to have this one for my collection. They were right! I love it and it quickly grew to one of my all time favorites. The pictures are so wonderful and bright. I love the meaning behind the text that all days are different and some days are good and some days are lousy. On those lousy days, it is a great pick-me-up even for adults. Children love this book and will read it over and over again. Please get this book for anyone you know.
Note to teachers: This is a fantastic book to discuss emotions and feelings. I teach kindergarten and we do a lot of discussion about emotions and feelings and how to handle them. This book is a great way to begin that type of discussion. Also, it is great when working with color words because a different color day is on each page. I usually incorporate both into the same week.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2003
Format: Board book
We got this book when our now 5 month old son was newly born and I believe I'm more taken with it at this point than he. Though he enjoys it immensely, at this point he seems to get a bigger kick out of Seuss' "Hop on Pop" and "Green Eggs and Ham," as well as a wonderful book titled "Down by the Cool of the Pool," by Tony Mitton.
With Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher's wonderfully artistic illustrations this book is set apart from traditional Seuss books. That's not a bad thing either. The illustrations are nearly perfect artistic creations to match Seuss' particular mood he is trying to convey with the message that you will be a different type person sometimes depending on the day and mood. The colors are bright and intriguing reminding me of a mix between Marc Chagall and Keith Haring. My favorite is the description of purple days, "On Purple Days I'm sad. I groan. I drag my tail. I walk alone." There is a small forlorn purple brontosaurus in the upper right hand corner on a field of white. Across the picture is a purple trail forlornly painted by the forlorn dragged tail with streaks that emphasize the mood. Beautiful and poignant.
What's even better, especially when my son hones his language skills, is the message the book carries. It's OK to experience different emotions...just because you feel a certain way at times doesn't mean it's permanent. Like happiness and sorrow together, this too shall pass, "Then comes a mixed-up day and wham! I don't know who or what I am? But it all turns out all right you see. And I go back to being...me."
The illustrations as well as the font and text layout all go to bolster the wonderful message of this book...a book for all ages, all colored days and all times.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 1999
Format: Board book
My 11 month old daughter loves this book! She will search through her book basket several times a day for me to read it to her. She loves the "pink day" and jumps whenever she sees the page. This is a wonderful introduction to the world of reading for any child. I highly recommend it.
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40 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I don't want to sound politically correct or paranoid, but in this book brown is "low, low down" and black is "mad and angry." All other colors, with the exception of purple, are positive. My toddler, who is bi-racial, started referring to his own skin color as "low, low down" after one reading! It was our last.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
We love talking about the colors and the way that you feel on some days and that it is OK to have a purple day or a black day or even a gray day when you don't want to do anything. Because we know that there will also be pink, and orange and yellow days to follow. Sometimes, without the book, we talk about what color day we are having.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There's something about bright colors that takes the human mind into emotional ranges it normally doesn't get to explore. I think Seuss understood this because My Many Colored Days is all about bright colors and how they represent emotion. Colors here are used to describe the strength of feelings we all experience: curiosity, boredom, anger, joy, worry, excitement. There are yellow days and blue days, brown days and red days, black days and gray days, and days where all the colors seem to mix together in one big swirl. This is a simple book, few words, bright abstract pictures that are barely contained by the pages. It gets a great reaction from even very small babies, who like to stare at the colors, and older children who understand what Seuss was saying with his feeling/color comparison connect well with the message, too. Heck, older people, artists, book lovers, Seuss fans (ahem, college stoners) EVERYONE who sees My Many Colored Days seems to appreciate this last goodbye from a beloved and strange doctor, who didn't give shots and always made house calls.

OH, PS, there is a DVD of this with music by the Minnesota Orchestra and read by Holly Hunter, that is visually stunning and a joy to see every time.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2000
Format: Board book
From a very, very early age, my son Alexander adored this book above all others. Although I probably read it to him more than 4-5 times a day, every time I started reading it, he would physically respond by waving his arms and legs. As he got a little older, he would also verbally let me know of his approval. I think the vivid colors and wonderfully sing-song rhyming in this book, makes it an excellent introduction to the wonderful world of books for the youngest of infants. I highly recommend it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
My son and I fell in love with this book when he was just 8 weeks old. Now we share the book together with his younger sister. As an educator, I feel this book is a wonderful way to teach children about art through children's literature. The explosive colors and emotional words make this book one of my all-time favorites.
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