Book Review: I See Color, by Valerie Bolling and Kailei Pew

Author Valerie Bollingʻs pic­ture books are always great choic­es for kids. Her col­or­ful, lyri­cal ear­ly read­ers and pic­ture books focus on the sim­ple joys and tri­umphs of childhood.

Her first non-fic­tion pic­ture book is a col­lec­tion of bio­graph­i­cal sketch­es, I See Col­or: An Affir­ma­tion and Cel­e­bra­tion of Our Diverse World. Fea­tured are lead­ers, many lit­tle-known to today’s kids, who have made pro­found impacts on the world. The col­lec­tion’s short, engag­ing for­mat makes it the per­fect intro­duc­tion of short biogra­phies to children.

I am delight­ed that our own Native Hawai­ian activist and schol­ar, the late Dr. Hau­nani-Kay Trask, is one of the fea­tured unsung heroes! Hau­nani is pre­sent­ed in a love­ly a two-page spread: a con­cise yet thought­ful pas­sage high­light­ing her key con­tri­bu­tions accom­pa­nied by a beau­ti­ful illustration. 

Cov­er Illus­tra­tion @ Laylie Fra­zier from I See Col­or by Valerie Bolling and Kailei Pew (Harper­Collins, 2024)

The pas­sage has all the hall­marks of author Bolling’s won­der­ful books with lyri­cal, approach­able lan­guage, and the art­work is gor­geous. Most of all, I love that I See Col­or can become a jump­ing off point for kids every­where to dis­cov­er more about the peo­ple fea­tured but espe­cial­ly about Hau­nani-Kay Trask and her fierce alo­ha for our lāhui.

This beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed pic­ture book is the ide­al gate­way for kids to learn about the peo­ple of col­or who con­tin­ue to make a dif­fer­ence in our lives. 

I See Col­or: An Affir­ma­tion and Cel­e­bra­tion of our Diverse World
Writ­ten by Valerie Bolling and Kailei Pew, illus­trat­ed by Laylie Fra­zier
Harper­Collins, 2024
ISBN 978–0063234260
Sug­gest­ed for ages 4 — 8 

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Review copy and image cour­tesy of Valerie Bolling.

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