Monday, June 3, 2019

Review - When I Colored in the World

When I Colored in the World
by Ahmadreza Ahmadi
illustrated by Ehsan Abdollahi
Date: 2015
Publisher: Tiny Owl Publishing
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

With a box of colored crayons and an eraser to rub things out, one child sets out to transform the world. By rubbing out ‘hunger’ and coloring in ‘wheat’, the world can be fed. By rubbing out ‘crying’ and coloring ‘laughter’, the world gets to sing, dance and be joyful. Told with poetic simplicity, this book shows how creative imagination – through the use of color and imagery – can change the world from bad to good. An unusual and deceptively simple picture book that imagines a world without discrimination, poverty or inequality.

(synopsis from NetGalley; see it on Goodreads)

I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would! I just read A Bottle of Happiness, which is also illustrated by Ehsan Abdollahi. The pictures in When I Colored in the World aren't quite so frenetic and detailed, but they're still really interesting to look at. They work well here, too, given that they almost look like children's drawings, and the story is told by a child.

In some ways, this can almost be viewed as a meditation or a set of affirmations. While the child can't physically change anything by erasing words with negative connotations and replacing them with more positive ones, it's kind of a nice way to think; perhaps, after an afternoon of musing about all the issues that need working on, the child will be inspired to take more concrete steps.

I can definitely see opportunities for using this book in a classroom setting. It almost seems tailor made for lessons and projects about making the world a better place.

This book is kind of difficult to describe. I'd recommend picking up a copy and having a look. The illustrations might not be to everyone's taste, but the message is worth checking out.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tiny Owl Publishing for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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