The Colour Monster is a very cleverly constructed paper engineered book about feelings featuring spectacular pop-ups. The story is told by a little girl who introduces the reader to her friend the colour monster, who is very confused, because his colours are mixed up together. She tells him this is because his feelings are mixed up too and offers to help him sort them out into bottles.
Each double page is devoted to a colour themed feeling with unsurprisingly, yellow for happiness and blue for sadness. Different settings are included, for example fear is depicted by a grey monster in a scary black forest and calmness with a relaxed green monster lying in a hammock in a garden. The scenery and monsters pop up in a variety of ingenious ways. For example, the anger spread is especially effective with the red monster appearing to jump out of the pages, mouth opening wide. A child like sketching style is combined effectively with collage, crayon, paint and photography to create the varied background images. The monster’s feelings are happily sorted out by the end of the book, with the colour monster turning pink and feeling full of love.
This is a special book to share with a child and enjoy looking at, albeit very carefully! Though the concept of bottling up feelings might be a little problematic, parents and teachers could certainly use this book to spark discussion about different feelings and perhaps help children understand them a bit more. It might lead to talk about other feelings too, for example what colour would represent boredom, perhaps brown or grey? Sharing this book may also inspire children to create their own colour monster or even their own pop-ups!