The Black Book of Colours

The Black Book of Colour
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Summary

How does a blind child explain colour? This is a hard concept for a child to understand, but with the help of this book, we can learn to see the world through different eyes. Recommend for age 6+

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A concept I’ve never seen before. Although that is the point. If you can’t see, how do you experience colour? How would you explain “blue” to a blind child. This book shares the experience of a boy named Thomas, who is blind. The description of colour is beautiful:

“Thomas says that blue is the colour of the sky when kites are flying and the sun is beating hot on his head.”

The book is entirely black, except for the white text. The first page in each two page spread, has the white text and above it the braille version. The facing page does contain illustrations, but they are a raised black glossy texture, on a black background. The blue page quoted above has a raised “image” of a kite.

The special nature of this book helps a child understand what being blind means. Hopefully creating empathy and understanding, that blindness is not an empty life, but does create a different view of the things we come across on a daily basis.

I bought this book hoping to share it with my children. I love it for it’s beauty, so would recommend it for adults and older children. Action Man, (age 2) does not understand this book at all. The Young Engineer (age 5) is finally at an age where he will listen to it. But in a world where visual media is king, a book with no colour is hard to understand, let alone to understand that some children live in a world with no colour. For that reason, this is a valued resource to me. Some concepts are difficult to envisage, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore them and only educate our children about easy topics. Opening eyes and hearts to see beyond themselves is a gift we can choose to give our kids.

For bonus points, have a look through this review and see how many allusions to sight I unintentionally made.

Awesome or Average: Awesome

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