Six books for children about colours


Colourful paint splatters on canvas

We’ve seen plenty of beautiful rainbows lately and have even been drawing some of our own to say thank you to the people who are keeping us safe and well during the lockdown. A little splash of colour can cheer us up even when skies are grey, so we’ve shared 6 colourful books to lift your spirits.

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse – Eric Carle

Eric Carle is truly the master of colourful picture books for little ones, and we’ve chosen this as our favourite for its quirky and creative message. The author introduces himself as an artist who paints many animals, just as he pleases – a blue horse, a red crocodile, even a polka-dotted donkey. Little ones will delight in the unexpected colours of the animals whilst learning new vocabulary, and will be introduced to the idea that as artists they can choose to represent the world however they wish, expressing their innate creativity.


The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle

Mix It Up – Hervé Tullet

Hervé Tullet’s series of interactive picture books are brilliant for engaging little ones and introducing them to cause and effect. We love this instalment where Tullet invites little ones to touch each colour and mix them together to create new colours, leaving the pages covered in brightly coloured splotches. Little ones will love the playful element of this book and get to practice different actions such as tapping, ‘smooshing’ and shaking to magically change what is on the page. Sure to inspire some creative art sessions at home!

Mix It Up! by Hervé Tullet

It’s a Great Big Colourful World – Tom Schamp

A stunning addition to any home library, we adore the gorgeous, rich illustrations throughout this beautiful book by Belgian artist Tom Schamp. Otto the cat is tired of seeing only grey outside his window, so his friend Leon the chameleon decides to show him all the wonderful colours the world holds. Each page is dedicated to a different colour with incredibly detailed drawings showing people, places, animals and objects which little ones will pore over, accompanied by playful text which may elicit chuckles from grown-ups as well. There is so much on each page that little ones and grown-ups will revisit this again and again – a must-have for your shelves.

It's a Great Big Colorful World by Tom Schamp

Harold and the Purple Crayon – Crockett Johnson

We think Crockett Johnson’s simple, classic illustrations are perfect for engaging little eyes, and we can’t get enough of this brilliant book, first published in 1955. Just before bedtime, Harold begins to draw his own adventure with his purple crayon, travelling through fields, forests, oceans and cities, all of his own making. Sometimes, hilariously, Harold’s drawings don’t go to plan and he must draw his way out of some sticky situations! We love this timeless story that celebrates the endless possibilities of imagination and creativity.

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Rainbow Stew – Cathryn Falwell

A celebration of family, healthy food and the amazing colour that nature produces, this feelgood story will inspire little ones to find out more about where their food comes from, and to practice their cooking skills using the recipe at the close of the book! Lushly illustrated and told with joyful, rhyming text, the story follows three children staying at their grandparents’ house as they help to harvest the vibrantly colourful vegetables from the garden to make a delicious, hearty pot of Rainbow Stew to enjoy together.

Rainbow Stew by Cathryn Falwell

They Say Blue – Jillian Tamaki

The beautiful, expressive illustrations in this book by award-winning illustrator Jillian Tamaki will captivate little ones and grown-ups, accompanied by a gentle story in which a little girl notices the colours in the world around her and considers and questions what she knows. We love how this book expresses a child’s sense of wonder and curiosity, which we hope will inspire little ones and grown-ups alike to pause and be attentive to what they see, hear and feel all around them.

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