Here’s a fun board book about colors for kids of design geeks: Pantone Colors. Published last month by Abrams Appleseed, the oversized board book has eight colors plus shades of grey, and each spread has twenty shades of the color in question.
So, for example “Yellow” has a cute little drawing of a lion — but the lion itself is made of of lots of shades, and the facing page has twenty swatches of yellow, from the orange-y “Honey Yellow” to the darker “Lion Yellow” to the super-bright “Daffodil Yellow.” (And, of course, each is accompanied by its Pantone number.)
It’s still a board book about colors, without much text other than the color names, but it introduces kids to the concept that there are many versions of each color. There’s not just one color called “blue,” but a whole range of blues.
Even my third grader enjoyed looking through the book, discussing with her younger sister which of the colors she liked best, and trying to identify the various shades used in the illustrations. The book includes yellow, orange red, pink, purple, blue, green, and brown; there’s also one spread that has white, gray, and black (as seen below). The last spread is a bunch of different drawings representing the various colors: bluebird blue, egpplant purple, caterpillar green, ice pop orange, and so on.
I do have to warn you, though: there’s some fine print on the back cover which may disappoint true design geeks. Although the book is officially licensed with Pantone, there’s this disclaimer: “Pantone Colors may not match Pantone-identified standards.” You’d think that a Pantone Colors book would feature accurately-reproduced colors, right? Oh, well. Also, although the color numbers are provided by Pantone, the names were created by the publisher — but your kids don’t have to know that just yet.
If you’re shopping for baby books and you know the family already has umpteen copies of Goodnight Moon, try something different and pick up a copy of Pantone Colors for them instead. True, it’s not much of a bedtime story, but it’s a lot of fun with colors.