Title: Sky Color

Author/Illustrator: Peter H. Reynolds

Publisher: Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2012


Genre: Picture book, fiction

Audience Age: 3 to 9

Themes/topics: art, creativity, self-confidence, seeing things differently, open-mindedness

Opening Sentences: Marisol was an artist. She loved to draw and paint, and she even had her very own art gallery. (Note from Beth: the accompanying illustration shows her adding a picture to the fridge door – her art gallery.)

Synopsis: This is the third in Peter H. Reynolds “Creatrilogy” of books that began with The Dot and Ish. All three books celebrate the ability of all children (and adults) to be creative. For a Perfect Picture Book review of Ish, please see Joanna Marple’s post from January 2012.  For a Perfect Picture Book review of The Dot, please see Pat Tilton’s blog today as well as Heather Newman’s (celebrating International Dot Day).

In Sky Color, Marisol is known in school and in her family for her artistic ability. When her teacher suggests the class paint a mural for the school library, Marisol is eager to begin, and volunteers to paint the sky. But – there is no blue paint. How can she paint the sky when she has no blue paint? Throughout the book, she learns that the sky isn’t always blue, and that there are many colors that are sky color. The mural is, of course, a work of art.

Activities/Resources: A good activity to pair with this book would be to go on a Look Closely Walk with kids. Encourage the children to look closely at everything around them. What color is the sky? Is it a lovely clear blue? Are there grey clouds? Is the sunset turning the sky all sorts of beautiful colors? What other things can they see that are unexpected colors? How about the reddish purple leaves on that bush? What about that bright pink door on the house across the street? Do things have to be the colors we expect them to be?

NASA has a wonderful resource on how to read sky colors, and what the different colors mean from a scientific point of view.

There is a Sky Color Facebook Group page where people are invited to post photos of sky color which they have taken.

Peter and Paul Reynolds’ website FableVision has a downloadable educator’s guide (note: one has to provide name and email address information, but the guide is free).

And … every September 15th-ish, children and adults can get involved in International Dot Day, which is a chance to celebrate creativity to the full. Have you made your mark?

Availability: Readily available in hardcover (released August 28, 2012).   Also available in a Creatrilogy boxed set with The Dot and Ish.

Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”


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