Oombee Woombee Books 2016
32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99
Mix the two in a blue-yellow brew…
Written for preschoolers, this is a fun book full of bright colours, catchy rhymes and whimsical illustrations that helps to teach our young readers the names of the colours they see in their world and how they are made.
Children show preferences for particular colours from a very early age. Since she could say the word, Miss Nearly 6 has had a very strong preference for blue – provided it was blue she would have it, even broccoli if we could work out a way to dye it! So to have the primary and secondary colours presented in such a bold way is sure to catch the eye and promise fun because who can resist an octopus, a paint brush in each of his eight arms splashing colour everywhere?
As well as the nonsense rhymes appealing to the ear in a familiar rhythm and the splashes of colour, the illustrations themselves invite exploration and interpretation encouraging the child to engage with the text. Can you find the purple socks? What do you think the blue bee is saying? Will that relaxed green mouse be safe from the large red cat looming over the house? And why is the red cow looking so angry? Children can then be encouraged to seek similar colours in their own environment, look at shades and tones, perhaps even build their own colour book called As red /yellow/green as...using pictures and captions.
There is also scope for practical experimenting using food colouring, dyes or paint so the child can discover for themselves what happens if we mix this with that, laying the foundations for some early science and building the concepts about things changing. Even though its primary audience is the very young, it also has scope for Kindy kids formally investigating colour and change as well as those a little older who are discovering the properties of light and rainbows. Why are the colours of the rainbow always the same and in the same order?
There is a myriad of ideas that this book could be the springboard for; ideas, investigations and experiments as rich as the colours themselves helping our young readers understand that not only do we get information from books but books can lead us on new adventures.