Day 11 and we’re still going strong! Today’s book is When I Coloured in the World by Ahmadreza Ahmadi, illustrated by Ehsan Abdollahi, translated from Persian by Azita Rassi (Tiny Owl Publishing Ltd).
Dominic: I like this book because the pictures make a nice effect and they also go with the words. They are trying to make the world happier by changing sad words to happy ones. My favourite page is the orange page which is all about Spring and when it starts to get nice and warm.
Emma: I like all the colours. I like the yellow page at the end.
According to the back of the book, it was selected as one of the best children’s books of 2015 by the Guardian. It’s easy to see why. The story begins with a child being given a “box of crayons for colouring, and an eraser to rub things out with”. Each double page then features a different theme represented by a different colour. Over the course of the book, the child rubs out words like “crying”, “war”, “hunger” and “boredom”, replacing them with “playing”, “peace”, “wheat” and “playing”. The text on each page follows the same pattern, allowing the reader to join in and finish the lines off – something Emma enjoys doing. The illustrations are beautiful and while the features of people are unusual, they are really eye-catching. I love colour and each page is a celebration of that. My personal favourite is the pink page about illness and health. The last page signs off with: “I gave the world hope” – such an important message for us all.
As well as admiring the illustrations and reading the text, this book also led to discussions, particularly with Dominic, about global issues such as drought (they weren’t really sure what this meant) and hunger. We also went on to talk about the book first being written in Persian, leading on to a talk about freedom of speech and how fortunate we are to be able to speak freely. Interesting topics that we probably wouldn’t have otherwise mentioned at this stage.
Definitely a great addition to the 30-day challenge!