I set out with the intent of selecting 10 books — and only 10 books — about colors to recommend to you. I knew at the outset that many more than 10 great books about colors have been written and that I would have to be ruthless. I have been ruthless before. (See e.g. 7 Awesome Alphabet Books.) I thought that I could be ruthless again. However, this time I just cannot do it. I cannot not recommend all 14 of these books. They are all great. You choose!
I have still left several wonderful books off this list. Please, share your favorites in the comments below!
Growing Colors by Bruce McMillan. This simple introduction to colors consists solely of a color name, a close-up image of a colorful fruit or vegetable, and an image of the full plant (vine, shrub, tree etc.) that the fruit or vegetable grows on. I like this book because it has led to all sorts of interesting discussions about how fruits and vegetables grow. Ages 0+
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle. A beautifully illustrated rhyming book. Each page describes what readers will see on the following page, which is, I think, a fantastic and fun way for kids to learn. Ages 0+
Red is a Dragon: A Book of Colors by Roseanne Thong and Grace Lin. In Red is a Dragon, a young Asian girl notices colors in the world around her. This rhyming book features beautiful illustrations by Grace Lin. The book concludes by encouraging kids to look for colors in the world around them. Ages 1+
Freight Train by Donald Crews. Sure to be a hit with train-lovers, this book introduces kids to the names of various train cars (hopper car, gondola car etc.) as well as to the colors of the rainbow. Ages 1+
Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton. A humorous introduction to colors for toddlers and preschoolers. Young kids will laugh out loud at the turkey’s mistakes as he tries to dress himself. The turkey puts his shirt on his legs, pants on his head, and socks on his hands…Oops! Ages 2+
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean. An entertaining story about a cat named Pete who does not loose his cool even when he steps in mud, strawberries and more with his brand new white shoes. This is a very fun book to read aloud to a group of kids ages three to five. Ages 3+
Vincent’s Colors by Vincent VanGogh and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vincent’s Colors encourages kids to notice the colors in Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings. Each page includes one of Van Gogh’s paintings and a brief phrase with which Van Gogh described the painting in a letter to his brother. Museum Colors also by The Metropolitan Museum of Art is another beautiful book that encourages kids to notice colors in famous paintings. Ages 2+
Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett. In this unconventional story about friendship, a lonely chameleon tries to make friends by imitating various friend candidates. This story can be used to help reinforce color names for older kids. Ages 4+
Color Dance by Ann Jonas. An introduction to mixing colors, including tertiary colors, pale colors and dark colors. Color Dance will especially appeal to kids who like dance and to kids interested in learning obscure color names like “vermillion.” Ages 4+
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. In this ode to green, Laura Vaccaro Seeger introduces kids to the variety of shades of green that exist. Green features clever rhymes and cutouts and lush oil paintings. Ages 4+