Colours, Colours Everywhere is the third collaboration between Julia Donaldson and illustrator Sharon King-Chai. After looking at numbers and the alphabet they have turned to colours. And as we would expect from these two, the result is fun, engaging and beautifully crafted.
Opening the arresting cover where a vivid red balloon sails surrounded by clouds and colourful birds, we find we are going on a journey. It will be a journey to create a story using the colours in the artist’s paintbox. But this is not a journey that just relies on Donaldson’s concise gently humorous rhyming text. The young reader is invited to join the illustrator as she chooses the colours and the right subject. The first action asks them to open the sketchbook to find the first colour – a small blue dot. Turn the page and a glorious blue tree frog leaps, literally, off the. page. It is this little frog who will guide us through the artist’s palette, the colours, objects and creatures popping out as each page is turned. However, this is a book aimed at a very young audience and paper engineering can create a problem. Here, King-Chai makes use of flaps cut-away pages and windows. This is the ideal technique to encourage the child to engage fully with each spread while also introducing the element of surprise (or even the potential for guessing or suggesting what might come next). It is both simple and effective.
Julia Donaldson and Sharon King-Cihai set out to teach and they have succeeded, the colours clearly and vibrantly presented through an interesting narrative. As a result they have also created a visually exciting picture book that can be enjoyed by young and old. A lovely book to have on any shelf and to share.