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A Book About Color: A Clear and Simple Guide for Young Artists Hardcover – April 13, 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 9
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (April 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080509055X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805090550
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this clever book for multiple reasons: as a resource for my work in teaching, as a neat way to introduce the world of color and contrasts to my grandchildren, and perhaps most importantly, to give me some insight and inspiration for a developing work about color in painting that might evolve into a story book some day. As a painter, and as one who spent far too many hours creating color swatches in art school, this has proven to be a good tonic to understanding color without 'tears.' I recommend it to anyone curious abut the way colors work together in the visual arts. It has proven to be a nice parallel read to another work in my studio, Victoria Finlay's COLOR: a natural history of the palette (2004).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book makes understanding everything about color very simple as colors are introduced on "color street". The book was part of the curriculum in my daughter's art class so we bought it and it's amazing how much she has learned about color theory -- the color wheel, complementary colors, saturation, etc. Although the author uses some difficult words, he illustrates each concept very well. Definitely a must buy for a young artist!!!
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Format: Hardcover
The book that we all wish (as artists) we had been given a long time ago!

The story is creative and holds the reader's interest as we truck along down color street learning about all the key elements of color theory. The simple drawings pair well with clear text and what could have been difficult concepts become very participatory rather than wordy and hard to read. Children will have fun with the mood section when they learn how certain colors make them feel. And the end illustration nicely wraps up all the theory in a fun color-filled page. Excellent for teachers, encouraging parents, and that cool aunt or uncle who always get the right thing at the right time.
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Format: Hardcover
My 5 year old loved learning about the different concepts. She already knew about primary/secondary colors, but she really gravitated towards the pages on saturation, color wheel, and how to use colors in your drawing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Includes lots of information on how colors work, not just how primaries are used to make secondaries. Has a "chapter" on complementary, neutrals, warm/cool. A great resource to read and share with young artists.
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By dana on September 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful book! I homeschool a 7 and a 4 year old and can't believe we just learned about complementary and analogous colors, saturation, and values and they understood it (and that I now understand it!) The pictures communicate very clearly what many words would have obscured. After reading it, we strung beads using different color relationships and the kids were very excited to be able to coordinate colors by using the color wheel. Beautiful piece of work, Mr. Gonyea- I will definitely look for your other titles. :)
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By CJH on November 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Awesome book about colors. My son loves this book. It truly is a great book for young artist. I think the best thing about this book is that it really does not have an age limit. Young kids can enjoy learning about colors and older people can learn more about color combinations, contrast and so on
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Format: Hardcover
My 5 year old son loves the fun and fanciful illustrations so much in this book he doesn't even realize he's learning all about colors!!! I love it! This book is such a fresh approach to teaching about color it's a must have for every aspiring artist, young or young at heart!!!
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