Blue & Other Colours: with Henri Matisse by Henri Matisse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a wonderful book. Genuinely. It’s rare to find board books that slip into non-fiction but do it so deftly, so unconsciously, so ‘without getting massively educational in the process and whoah yes I’m bored and I’m three hundred years older than the target audience’ sort of thing.
Blue & Other colours is part of a series of ‘first concepts with fine artists’. This title focuses on Matisse and quietly works through a series of his works by picking out the colours. Every time ‘Blue’ is mentioned, the font turns blue, and as each new colour is introduced the font changes once more to reflect that colour. This is such a nice, subtle touch of design and will help immensely with both colour recognition and language development.
The captions are simple, ranging from: “Blue Again” through to “Blue and yellow, and look – orange dots too!”. Each caption is set against a clean white background which again is another good design; this book could have been very easily over-designed and too busy, particularly with some of Matisse’s more exuberant works, but it carefully stays away from that. It includes a little bit of blurb about Matisse at the end, which speaks about his methods and techniques.
This is such a delightful, solid book. I loved that it included a list of the works depicted throughout the book, because these are books to be shared. To be played with. To live with. I also suspect this will be a book that will last with the reader for a while and grow with them, particularly because certain elements of it do read up and towards imaginative play and craft activities. I loved it. More please.