Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Colors of Us

Karen Katz created the wonderful children's book, "The Colors of Us." It is the story of a girl, Lena, who sees herself as the color of cinnamon and how her artist mother, teaches her that there is no black and white. She shows her the many shades of skin colors: from light cocoa, to peach, from chocolate brown to butterscotch and beyond. Rather than pretending to be color blind, this book embraces the beautiful array of "colors of us."

This book is particularly meaningful to me because my family reflects a spectrum of beautiful colors. I purposefully purchased this book several years ago with that in mind. My daughter often refers to her skin color as cinnamon. She considers me to be "peachy-vanilla." My husband is "milk chocolate." This book reinforces the beauty and diversity of all people.

For my art classes my kindergartenders created their own Katz's folk art inspired collages with a layer of painted background, scrapbook paper cityscapes, and construction paper cut people with added details in oil pastel. The children really had fun with this project, bringing their own personality and added touches to their people.


  1. I haven't seen this book before, but I think I will order it for my art classes. Thanks!

  2. It's a wonderful book - great vibrant, childlike illustrations.

  3. I love using Picture Books as a source for art lessons. Can't wait to see the results of your efforts! This looks like a great portrait lesson.

  4. This looks like a fun lesson to try. You might also like All The Colors of the Earth by Shiela Hamanaka. It is similar in using poetic and descriptive speech to portray the spectrum of beautiful colors people come in.

  5. Thanks lorel. I'll have to check it out.


I appreciate your comments and feedback!