|Title:||Mixed: A Colorful Story|
|Publisher:||Henry Holt and Co.|
|ISBN:||978 125014 2733|
|Age Range:||4-8 Years Old|
In the beginning, there were three colors . . .
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.
Mixed: A Colorful Story | Snuggleosophy Review
The artwork that Arree Chung uses in Mixed: A Colorful Story is simple, but expressive. It reminds me of old School House Rock cartoons. Each Color, or character in this case, displays distinctive emotions. You are not left doubting how they feel.
The backgrounds are simple black and white outlines, which allows each Color to stand out against the backdrop. The art allows the message to be the key focus, while complementing the story.
The Colors themselves are not gendered, which I think was a wonderful decision on Chung’s part. It ensures that none of the colors are “boy” colors or “girl” colors and allows readers to take them just as they are.
Chung also uses different fonts on the pages. I feel that this adds another level of interest to the page, and it allows emphasis to be brought to the message at key points throughout the story.
The message in Mixed: A Colorful Story is one of acceptance and tolerance. The colors all live together in harmony until one day, the colors decide to segregate themselves into separate parts of the city and only associate with each other. They do this for no seemingly good reason. But when the colors start “mixing” and creating new colors, they see how much more colorful the city becomes, and embrace the changes.
My daughter, being Chilean-American, could be considered a “mixed color”. Luckily, we haven’t received negative commentary regarding this, but I also don’t live in the United States right now. I know that anti-immigration and racial tensions are at a new peak right now, and that worries me.
In Chile, the perception of my daughter’s heritage is positive! She will get the best of both worlds, speak two languages and have double the opportunities compared to many children of one nationality. However, I travel back to the United States, and I see people being berated in supermarkets for speaking Spanish or other languages.
I think that the message in Mixed: A Colorful Story is pertinent, especially in this time of nationalism. We are all individuals with unique talents and unique experiences, and that should be celebrated. While we have our differences, we also each have so much to offer each other.
Aside from the deeper message, the book offers a sweet way to introduce and teach your children about primary, secondary, and tertiary colors! A fun activity to pair with the book would be to take a paint set and show how the colors can mix to create the world in the book.
The writing in Mixed: A Colorful Story is upbeat, and fun to read aloud with kids. The characters aren’t complex, nor is there much conversation or vocabulary, but I think that the writing gets the message across well. I don’t feel that the lack of character development deprives the story at all.
What I did notice was the abrupt ending. For the most part, the book had a flow to it. The story carries along smoothly and you get to meet many different colors along the way. However, the end cuts off and I felt like there was something missing. It is as if the author wasn’t quite sure how to end the story.
The missed opportunity here would have been to leave the story more open ended. With so many colors and so many mixes, this story could lead to future books. The issues that are inherent in the society of colors are dynamic and lend themselves to further discussion.
Would I Recommend this Book?
Yes, I highly recommend Mixed: A Colorful Story to all parents. The artwork is captivating and introduces colors to children in a unique manner, including many colors that you may not find in a typical picture book. The story is sweet and simple enough for children of all ages to understand. And to top it off, the message that the book portrays is so important for our children to hear.
Let us know if you have read Mixed: A Colorful Story and what you think about it in the comments below!
Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this book for the purpose of this review, but the thoughts and opinions above are 100% my own.
I also want to say that while the opinions are my own, the above article contains links from the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
Caitlin is the managing director of Snuggleosophy and the mother of 1-1/2 year old Amanda. She has lived as an expat in Santiago, Chile for the past 7 years and speaks English and Spanish fluently. She loves to promote reading for children starting from birth as well as multilingual and multicultural parenting. For her day job, she is a pricing and transportation analyst for international freight.