The Picture Book Buzz

Mixed: A Colorful Story - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Every once in a while a book is published that you can't believe hadn't been done before. To prove this point, a picture book come out this year that delves into discrimination and diversity while teaching about the concept of colors. So seemingly simple, yet unique and ingenious.

Using colorful dots with amazing expressions and personalities, Arree Chung hits a massive home run with his newest picture book -

Mixed: A Colorful Story

Author/Illustrator: Arree Chung

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Ages: 4- 8 years

Fiction:

Themes:

Tolerance, diversity, discrimination, friendship, and colors

Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble):

In the beginning, there were three colors . . .

Reds,

Yellows,

and Blues.

All special in their own ways, all living in harmony—until one day, a Red says, "Reds are the best!" and starts a color kerfuffle. When the colors decide to separate, is there anything that can change their minds?

A Yellow, a Blue, and a never-before-seen color might just save the day in this inspiring book about color, tolerance, and embracing differences.

Opening Lines:

In the beginning, there were three colors:

Reds,

Yellows,

and Blues.

Reds were the loudest,

Yellows were the brightest,

and Blues were the coolest.

What I liked about this book:

Mixed explores tolerance, discrimination, and segregation in a fun, accessible manner that will make an impact on kids and adults alike.

Text and image © Arree Chung, 2017.

When a previously harmonious town is beset by colors determined to classify themselves as the brightest, smartest, and coolest, it devolves into a dismal town.

Text and image © Arree Chung, 2017.

A town where the colors are segregated by gates, barbed wire, guards, and you guessed it -walls. And for all their purity, there is not a single happy face to be found. Fortunately, two brave dots, one blue and one yellow, ignore the others and discover that they complement and improve each other.

Text and image © Arree Chung, 2017.

When they "MIX" (marry), they do what all blended colors do and create a new color. Wrapping in a mini art lesson, blue and yellow create a green dot. Who is "bright like yellow and calm like blue," but in her heart "a color all her own." She thaws the grumpiest of dots and soon we find red and yellow making a n orange dot, blue and red making purple dots, as the town "mixed and mixed." Soon the black and white town is overrun with a surfeit of colors and transforms into something amazing.

The simplicity of the black and white town and the expressive faces and fun headgear of the dots bring these issues to a child's level without being condescending or preachy. It is a beautiful book about acceptance and individuality. One that should be a part of every library.

Resources:

- experiment with mixing colors. What new ones do you create?

- get your Mixed activity guide at http://arree.com/mixed-activity-guide/; or

- draw a picture of what your "mixed" community would look like.

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

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