Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wednesday Book Review: The Color Machine by A. H. Taylor

Over Facebook, the author/illustrator reached out to me with a lovely message: "I wanted to personally give you a copy of the book to review and allow the message to spread to all. Please let me know how I can get you a copy. And above all...know that you are appreciated!"

With such kindness, I should have expected a kind book! 

In "The Color Machine" we enter the town of Colormazoo, where color is very important... 

The Color Machine gives the people color, but is broken and no one can tell who is which color. 

The book alludes to the fact that there are different colored people, white, black, brown, and tan:

As the mayor "itches" to find a cure, the different people help each other, not knowing who is which color. This is turn makes everyone happier. 

While I like the premise of the book, the writing is a little awkward. It does not quite rhyme, nor does it have a pattern or pentameter, which makes it a difficult book to read out loud to children. It is a little vague as to what exactly The Color Machine does, as well as how the people of Colormazoo normally interact. It seems that a little more back story may have helped develop this story and give children empathy for the characters, as well as building connections to children to times they may have felt left out (something like, the blacks and tans were playing but wouldn't let the browns or whites in, etc.). The Color Machine is geared toward younger students, and can be a great starting point, but teachers should be prepared for deep questions and potentially uncomfortable conversations. View the book's website here: 

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