Skip to main content

Pantone Colors by Pantone and Abrams Appleseed with illustrations by Helen Dardik

This IS the only color book your child will ever need. Period. As an art school drop out I have great respect for Pantone,  a company that is known for "identifying, matching and communicating colors to solve the problems associated with producing accurate color matching in the graphic arts community." This resulted in the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM, a book of standardized color in fan format that is as essential for artists as a dictionary is for writers. Pantone is also known for celebrating a "Color of the Year" that  pops up in fashion, home decor and other areas of our daily lives. 2012 color is Tangerine Tango. I am so excited to see that, along with AbramsApleseed, a publisher known for attention to detail, design and the creation of beautiful books, they have Pantone Colors, a board book that goes beyond your average teaching tool.

Pantone Colors is one of the first books from Abrams's new AbramsAppleseed imprint which is dedicated to instilling a love of books in babies, toddlers and preschoolers by publishing books that will "foster the development of its young readers and engage them and their adults in artful, beautifully conceived books. Each book serves to expand on what the child already knows and transform his or her perception of the world." Without a doubt, Pantone Colors achieves these goals. I cannot stop looking at this book! Everything about it is gorgeous, from the multicolored cover with an embossed title, to the thick board pages to the playful illustrations and fantastic color names that make up each page of the book. There are nine featured colors, each one with twenty variants on the left hand side of the page. While it is amazing to realize that there are that many (and more, no doubt) various shades of any one color, what I especially love - what melds my passion for words with the delight I take in art - are the names of the twenty variants.

Reading these will surely delight any adult and intrigue any listener and maybe even inspire a color naming contest of your own! From "French Fry Yellow" to "Basketball Orange," "Velvet Red" and "Worm Pink," your imagination will explode with the possibilities. There are "Kazoo Purple" and "Apron Blue," "Broccoli Green" and "Meatball Brown" and "Grandma Grey," to name a few more. The book ends with a wonderful two page spread of objects, animals and foods that represent (almost) all of the colors in the book. Helen Dardik's illustrations are playful, crisp and immediately recognizable and will appeal to any little reader who has already (as all babies do) developed a taste for the colorful books of Eric Carle and his hungry caterpillar. That said, I would not hesitate to give Pantone Colors to an older, reading child with an artistic bent. While Pantone Colors will teach important concepts to infants and toddlers, Pantone Colors is sure to intrigue and inspire older readers to create something of their own.

If you want to impress your friends, bring Pantone Colors to the next baby shower you are invited to. I guarantee you it will get passed around and read out loud and there might not even be a child in the room! And, for the super cool artistic baby gift, you can add Paul Thurlby's Alphabet.


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…