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The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin

The Black Book of Colors (2006)

by Menena Cottin

Other authors: Rosana Faría (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (62)  German (1)  French (1)  All (64)
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
In this book, all of the pages are black, with the exception of having white print. Instead of talking about what colors look like, the book explains how the different colors are experienced by someone who is blind. On each page, the text has also been translated into brail accompanied by pictures made by raised lines.
While the book does not explicitly provide knowledge about brail or being blind, this informational text offers readers a chance to put themselves in the shoes of someone who is blind and to think about color in a new way.
1. One way to use this text would be during a mini lesson on word choice. The teacher can explain how colors can be used to describe things other than what they see. To prove this, the teacher can then read this text to show how color is experienced without sight. After reading, students can return to their independent writing and write about how they would describe the different colors with other senses.
2. Another way to use this book would be if there was a student with a visual impairment in the classroom. If that student read brail, then this would be a book that both that student and their peers could read together. Therefore, it would be good book to utilize an inclusionary tool.
Age Appropriateness: primary, intermediate.
Media: raised dots and lines. ( )
  rstewart15 | Nov 13, 2017 |
This book is all black on every page, except for the text is in white. The book describes each color in the rainbow by how it tastes, smells, or feels. This book also has braille on each page, and although the images are black and hard to see, they are textured so you can feel them. A book that is beneficial for blind readers. ( )
  rtrimb1 | Sep 28, 2017 |
Venezuelan author/illustrator team Menena Cottin and Rosana Faría team up in this innovative picture-book that attempts to communicate the experience of being blind, and of how colors might be perceived by the blind, to young children. Simple but poetic text describes how colors are experienced by a young blind boy named Thomas, while the artwork on the facing page is done in raised clear line drawings on the deep black paper. The text for sighted children is in white text on the black paper, and is also translated into Braille.

Originally published in Mexico as El libro negro de los colores, and translated into many languages around the world, this lovely, thought-provoking book is really quite unique. I have never really thought about how something like color, which relies on exposure to light, might be communicated to and/or thought about by the blind, but The Black Book of Colors has prompted me to do just that, and to consider how so much of what we think we know is filtered through our method of perceiving it. In this respect, I was reminded of some of the conversations I have had with people who have conditions like synesthesia, and the different ways in which they experience things like words. I really enjoyed Rosana Faría's artwork here, although I am constrained to admit that I simply couldn't perceive much shape, when running my fingers over her raised illustrations, while keeping my eyes closed. It's a shame that the Braille text isn't of a quality that it could actually be read by the blind - apparently production costs would have been too high - but this makes an excellent introduction to the topic for sighted children. Recommended to anyone looking for innovative books addressing blindness, color, and how we look at issues of disability and perception in general. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | May 26, 2017 |
This was a very unique book. It is written in braille allowing the blind to read it as well. I really enjoyed that and hope to learn braille one day. I like how everything is black because that is most likely how a blind person lives. The colors are what keeps them going and to be able to live a vibrant life. ( )
  Phallan | May 3, 2017 |
Summary: This book does not have much to say, but to feel and observe. The whole book is done entirely in black and with brail. It allows for the reader to step into the shoes of someone who has to live with this daily.
Genre: Realistic fiction because it takes readers into the mind of someone else, but the person and events that are told in the story are not factual to the point that the events actually occur.
Medium: This book is done with black ink and brail lettering.
Age Appropriateness: Upper primary and Intermediate
Use in a classroom: This book could be used to help the students understand what it means to be blind. If you have a blind student in the class or are reading about one, this would allow them to step into their shoes.
  rbrock15 | Apr 10, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Menena Cottinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Faría, RosanaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amado, ElisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Thomas says that yellow tastes like mustard, but is as soft as a baby chick's feathers.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0888998732, Hardcover)

Living with the use of one's eyes can make imagining blindness difficult, but this innovative title invites readers to imagine living without sight through remarkable illustrations done with raised lines and descriptions of colors based on imagery. Braille letters accompany the illustrations and a full Braille alphabet offers sighted readers help reading along with their fingers. This extraordinary title gives young readers the ability to experience the world in a new way.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:06 -0400)

This title invites readers to imagine living without sight through remarkable illustrations done with raised lines and descriptions of colors based on imagery. Braille letters accompany the illustrations and a full Braille alphabet offers sighted readers help reading along with their fingers.… (more)

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