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Make winter more vibrant with color-themed picture books

Posted January 29

Readers can bring some more color into their dreary winter days with these pictures books. From a white-drenched polar bear to black-and-white animals to particular pigs, the characters in these books discover the importance of having a more colorful life through the year.

"EVERY COLOR," by Erin Eitter Kono, Penguin Young Readers, $16.99, ages 4-8

In "Every Color," written and illustrated by Erin Eitter Kono, Bear is tired of living in the barren, all-white North Pole. A little girl brings him a gift that gives him a hint of the colors he's missing, but he isn't happy until she takes him on a trip around the world to discover every shade and hue that's out there. It's only when he comes back home that he realizes the color that was in his life all along.

This beautiful book takes its readers around the globe and back again and brings to mind all the amazing, colorful wonders this world has, including right at home.

"NOT QUITE BLACK AND WHITE," by Jonathan Ying, illustrated by Victoria Ying, HarperCollins Children's Books, $14.99, ages 4-8

"Not Quite Black and White" by Jonathan Ling features every kind of black-and-white animal there is, with a twist. Though some penguins might stick to their stylish suit, others prefer to brighten things up with yellow shoes, and so on through zebras and Dalmatians and everything in between. Each animal shows its unique personality through the colors it prefers to wear.

The unique black-and-white illustrations make the featured color on each page pop. Maroon, aqua and lavender pages will introduce different colors than those in the typical rainbow. Children will enjoy learning all about how to express themselves through colors that go beyond black and white.

"THE CRAYONS' BOOK OF COLORS," by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Teffers, Penguin Young Readers, $8.99, ages 0-4

Based on "The Day the Crayons Quit," this installment, "The Crayons' Book of Colors," by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Teffers, shows readers what each different crayon in Duncan's box decides to draw based on its color. Some have an easier time coming up with ideas than others.

This fun board book has illustrations reminiscent of childhood drawings that any young one would find familiar. It also includes some humor and is a different, lighthearted way of teaching children about colors and what they can be used for.

"EDWARD GETS MESSY," by Rita Meade, illustrated by Olga Stern, Simon & Schuster, $17.99, ages 4-8

In "Edward Gets Messy" by Rita Meade, Edward is a "particular pig" who likes everything to be neat and tidy. He prefers to spend his time cleaning things that are already clean and avoiding anything that will get him dirty — including, but not limited to, dogs, paint and baseball. But messes are inevitable in life, and once Edward find himself covered in one, he realizes that by avoiding getting dirty he was missing out on many of the joys of life. And anyway, he can always clean up afterward.

Though this book is not specifically about colors, the illustrations of the mess Edward works so hard to avoid are filled with every color of the rainbow, as if to show how much more colorful life can be if allowed to be messy. This sweet book will delight children with both its message and vibrant pictures.

"HAP-PEA ALL YEAR," by Keith Baker, Simon & Schuster, $17.99, ages 0-8

While not actually a book on colors (for that, see "Little Green Peas," also by Keith Baker), "Hap-pea All Year" leads the reader through a rainbow of color as it also goes through the months of the year.

This book is perfect for introducing little ones to all the great things they can enjoy all year long.

"A SEASON TO BEE: A Stylish Book of Colors," by Carlos Aponte, Penguin Young Readers, $17.99, ages 4-8

As an introduction to the colors of spring, "A Season to Bee: A Stylish Book of Colors" is written by fashion designer and artist Carlos Aponte. Though the prose struggles through the always-awkward attempt at rhyming with the names of colors (one has to work hard to avoid purple and orange, for example), the gorgeous illustrations of insect fashion design make up for it.

Best of all is the message that the best fashion doesn't come from following rules and trends — it comes from being yourself.

Email: mbulsiewicz@deseretnews.com

Twitter: mgarrett589

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