21 Children’s Books about Colors That Get the Green Light

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Katherine Willoughby

Staff Writer

Katherine Willoughby lives is Richmond, Virginia and teaches Junior Kindergarten at the same school where she discovered her love of reading. When she is not in the classroom, Katherine enjoys building wooden train layouts with her three-year-old son, playing board games while drinking IPA’s with her husband, and taking part in pub trivia. Read Across America Day is her favorite holiday!

Katherine Willoughby

Staff Writer

Katherine Willoughby lives is Richmond, Virginia and teaches Junior Kindergarten at the same school where she discovered her love of reading. When she is not in the classroom, Katherine enjoys building wooden train layouts with her three-year-old son, playing board games while drinking IPA’s with her husband, and taking part in pub trivia. Read Across America Day is her favorite holiday!

“What is your favorite color?” is a big conversation starter among my 14 preschool students. Most answer with a simple blue, pink, or orange, while at least one claims taupe as a favorite and another prefers sea foam green. Kids quickly bond over favorite colors and learn to respect the color preferences of others. They also love reading, listening, and looking at books about colors. Below, you will find 21 children’s books about colors that get the green light and will have any preschooler tickled pink after reading!

Board Books About Colors

Red is rojo book coverRed Rojo (Color Series) by Meritxell Martí 

What are some items that are red? In this simple and beautiful board book, Meritxell Marti introduces children to such red things as stage curtains, ladybugs, and even The Grand Canyon. Both English and Spanish words are given for each item. After exploring this book, check out the rest in the series: Green Verde, Blue Azure, and Yellow Amarillo.

Optical Physics for babies book coverOptical Physics for Babies by Chris Ferrie

This a great book for babies, preschoolers, and even adults for introducing optical physics. Through easy words and straightforward but effective illustrations, Chris Ferrie introduces a complex topic. Reflection, refraction, and rainbows demonstrate the creation of colors. This is a must-read for pint-sized scientists and their full-sized parents who may need a refresher on the physics of color.

Ellie in Color by Mike Wu

Ellie the Elephant and her paintbrush take little artists on a trip through brilliant colors. She illustrates how colors work together to form pieces of art. Cute illustrations, bright colors, and simple text make this a quick favorite of the preschool set.

Holi Colors book coverHoli Colors by Rina Singh

Holi is the festival of colors and the festival of love. In this little book, a mother explains where the bright colors of Holi come from. Small children will delight in the colorful photographs and beautiful, rhyming text of this sturdy book.

Little Owl’s Colors By Divya Srinivasan

Young children who love the Little Owl books will love learning colors with him. Little Owl ventures out during the day and discovers that the world is full of colors. Blue ponds, green grass, yellow bees, and purple butterflies show the youngest readers that colors are all around us!

Picture Books About Colors

Every color soup book coverEvery Color Soup by Jorey Hurley

This simple how-to teaches young chefs and readers how to make a colorful vegetable soup. All they need is a pot, some purple eggplants, orange carrots, white garlic, and other yummy, fresh ingredients. Chop and drop the veggies in the pot. Let the soup bubble on the stove. Yum!

Festival of Colors by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal

“Holi is a festival of fresh starts. And friendship. And forgiveness.” It is also a colorful celebration during which families and friends throw colorful powders on each other. In this book, Chintoo and Mintoo gather red hibiscus, purple orchids, orange marigolds, and other vibrant flowers. They dry the flowers and then make colorful powders to use during the festival. When the children arrive at the festival with their family, the rest of the neighborhood is there shouting, dancing, and celebrating amidst a colorful fog.

Hello Red Fox book coverHello, Red Fox by Eric Carle

Eric Carle begins his book with a brief history of color theory and how Johann Wolfgang von Goethe determined that there are primary colors and secondary colors. He also discovered that each color has a complementary color. It is on this theory that Carle bases his book. The story is simple.  Little Frog invites his friends, including Red Fox, Purple Butterfly, and Orange Cat, to his birthday party. When each animal arrives, Mama Frog notices that the animal is a different color than its name. Red Fox is green, Purple Butterfly is yellow, and Orange Cat is blue. Little Frog helps Mama Frog and the reader see the animal’s true color with some very simple instructions. This is a great book for helping children slow down and concentrate while enjoying a fascinating visual trick.

Mix It Up by Herve Tullet

This interactive book invites young readers and artists to mix, swirl, and splatter paint. Tullet instructs his audience to take small dabs of one color and swirl it with another color. Young children quickly see how primary colors mix to create secondary colors and beyond. Keep this book near a pad of paper and some finger paints. This book breeds colorful inspiration!

Penguins Love Colors book coverPenguins Love Colors by Sarah Aspinall

Six little penguins love colors. Their mama does too! That is why she named them Tulip, Tiger Lily, Dandelion, Violet, Bluebell, and Broccoli—all after colorful flowers. When the little penguins each paint a flower on the snow to celebrate Mama’s birthday, Mama has to guess which penguin painted which flower. Young readers love naming the flowers and figuring out which flower belongs to each penguin. They also love the name Broccoli! There are always lots of giggles when the name Broccoli is read out loud!

Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds

Marisol is an artist. Her classmates, teachers, and friends all love Marisol’s artwork, her gifts of art supplies, and her colorful clothing. When the class agrees to paint a mural in the school’s library, Marisol is the most excited! As friends brainstorm about painting the ocean and fish, Marisol proclaims that she will paint the sky. When she realizes that there is no blue paint, Marisol worries about how to create her vision. Marisol observes the sky as day turns to night and as gray clouds cover the sky. She realizes that the sky is not always blue and then creates her own “sky color.” This is a beautiful little book about creating something beautiful that challenges our common perceptions.

Monsters Love Colors book coverMonsters Love Colors by Mike Austin

Monsters love colors! Even more, they love making new colors! In this book, monsters mix, mash, splash, squish, mish, and squash the primary colors to make new colors for their friends. One little monster can’t pick just one color to be and finally decides to be “Super tropical mega monster rainbow swirl with raspberry on top!” Monsters scribble, drip, and dribble their colors to make the little monster’s vision a reality!

Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young

Seven blind mice venture out one by one to explore something strange by their pond. Red Mouse thinks there is a pillar by the pond while Green Mouse believes it is a snake. White Mouse is the last to visit the “Something.” Bravest of them all, she runs up, over, and along the thing and realizes that you need the whole story to truly understand something.

Cat’s Colors by Jane Cabrera

A little kitten asks the simple question, “What is my favorite color?” She lists and describes lots of choices and finally declares that orange is her favorite color because orange is the color of her mother. Jane Cabrera’s illustrations are bright and full of bold brush strokes that capture the spirit and movement of kittens and children, too.

Mixed: A Colorful Story book coverMixed: A Colorful Story by Arree Chung

This is my new favorite kids’ book and I think is a must for all home and classroom libraries! At the beginning of the story, there were three colors: Reds, Yellows, and Blues. Everyone lived together in their city until each color declared themselves the best out of all of the colors. They started living in separate parts of the city. One day, a Yellow and a Blue started talking and realized that they were happiest around each other. They decided to mix and began a color revolution. By the end of the book, the whole rainbow is represented throughout their city! Chung’s simple black and white backgrounds and adorable, colorful blobs illustrate a story that stresses that everyone should be loved and treated equally.

Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman

This is a beautiful poetry book about colors in nature throughout the year. Joyce Sidman names each color and describes its role in the natural world. My favorite poem from the collection:

And where is Blue?
Humming, shimmering, snoozing in the lazy haze.

Dancing on water with yellow and green.

In summer, Blue grows new names: turquoise, azure, cerulean.

These are lyrical poems to read snuggled up together on a park bench or on a picnic blanket next to a colorful garden.

freight train book coverFreight Train by Donald Crews

A colorful freight train slowly starts its journey from the switching yard to its destination. Donald Crews introduces each car in this long, steam-powered train. As the book continues, the train picks up speed, traveling quickly through a tunnel, near a city, and across a trestle. The colorful train cars blend together until the train travels out of sight. The youngest train buffs will long to read this vibrant book over and over.

Green is a Chili Pepper by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

Spanish and English intertwine in this color book written in simple rhymes. “Brown is a churro, blue is the endless sky above, and the world is a rainbow of wonder and fun!” After reading this book, little readers will notice the ribbons of colors that make up their own worlds.

Little Green Peas book coverLittle Green Peas by Keith Baker

Little peas may be green, but they inhabit a colorful world. Each color has a full page spread and the peas revel in lots of bright-colored activities. Blue boats, green vines, purple skies, and little green peas. Adorable illustrations show the little peas living their best lives amidst a vibrant world!

Color Dance by Ann Jonas

Three dancers with red, yellow, and blue scarves appear from behind a rainbow striped curtain. They begin to dance, swirling their scarves behind them. As the music flows, the colors in the scarves mix, creating secondary colors, tertiary colors, and even black. At the end, the dancers thank their audience and young readers will applaud their artistic interpretation of the color wheel.

Pink is for Boys book coverPink is for Boys by Robb Pearlman

In this book, young children discover that pink is for girls, and boys, and everyone! So are blue and green. Joyful and nostalgic illustrations show boys and girls dancing, playing baseball, and enjoying dressing up. This book helps kids realize that boy colors and girl colors could be a thing of the past.

What are your favorite children’s books about colors? Share your favorites in the comments! Also, is your preschooler craving more books? Find some more great books on this list of 50 Must-Read Books for Preschoolers.