Cover image for Red green blue : a first book of colors
Red green blue : a first book of colors
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton Children's Books, 2010.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 27 cm.
Characters from nursery rhymes populate this tale, which highlights the colorful aspects of the familiar poems. Includes a key to the nursery rhymes referenced in the story.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book EASY JAY 1 1

On Order



On a gray and rainy day, a boy discovers a rainbow of colors in the magical world of nursery rhymes. Come along as he delights in blue with Little Boy Blue, orange in Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard, and purple with poor Humpty Dumpty. This gorgeously illustrated, whimsical nursery adventure is just right for children learning their colors.

Alison Jay's uniquely beautiful concept books continue to charm readers and win fans of all ages.

Author Notes

Alison Jay is the celebrated illustrator of many books for children, including her much-admired series of concept books, found "elegant and luminous" in a Booklist starred review and "sumptuous . . . a wonder to behold," in a starred review in Publishers Weekly . She lives in London, England.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Colors, nursery rhymes, and seek-and-find fun are rolled into this companion to Jay's ABC: A Child's First Alphabet Book (2003) and 123: A Child's First Counting Book (2007, both Dutton). The story begins on a dismally gray, rainy day with a small boy sitting in a window seat with his watercolor paint set. The child and his brown-and-white spotted dog become astonished bystanders in the midst of a series of favorite childhood stories. The boy observes the farmer's wife chasing three rodents with dark glasses and white canes. In the background, readers can spot a haystack with a child in blue leaning against it, which leads into the next rhyme, about Little Boy Blue. The illustration includes a blind mouse disappearing around the haystack, while a yellow teapot in a window foreshadows the next rhyme. Views across the hilly countryside and through windows, and pictures on walls and a clock all hint at what rhyme or song is coming. Fourteen colors, including turquoise, silver, and gold, and an equal number of nursery rhymes or songs are highlighted, while others are visible to observant readers. The delightful, intricate artwork has a crackled finish, creating the appearance of an old fresco. As the boy awakens to a rainbow shining in his eyes, nursery-rhyme characters are seen greeting each other outside his window. A wonderful and welcome addition to concept books.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Similar to her use of fairy tales in 123: A Child's First Counting Book, Jay uses nursery rhymes to gently introduce a concept. On a rainy day, a boy is whisked into a series of vignettes, distinguished by Jay's trademark crackled surfaces. Familiar characters spill out of their intended scenes into others, while the text highlights colors. "Miss Muffet's scared of the big black spider./ He only wanted to sit beside her"; other cameos include the Owl and the Pussycat (in a green boat) and Humpty Dumpty, "purple from his fall." There are numerous opportunities for discussing colors, but as ever, it's Jay's luminous images that steal the show. Up to age 2. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

On a rainy day, a young painter enjoys the vibrant colors suggested by several familiar nursery rhymes: "This yellow teapot's short and stout. / She is the best at pouring out." Nicely capturing both action and hue, Jay's familiar crackle-varnished illustrations also include the painter as onlooker. Throughout, page spreads incorporate details from preceding and succeeding rhymes creating a smooth visual flow. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

Colors are only part of the story in this lively, handsome picture book that dramatizes 20 nursery rhymes with wild magic realism. Young children will enjoy spotting characters and scenarios from the rhymes that they know, from five pink piggies and Little Bo Peep's white sheep to a little teapot, short and stout. Not all the featured nursery rhymes are sweet and merry. Miss Muffet is afraid of the big black spider for good reason; even though he only wanted to sit beside her, the picture shows that he is huge and scary. Something not very nice is happening to the three bespectacled blind mice, who leap across the double-page spread, away from a knife-wielding woman. Humpty Dumpty offers a sunnier view: it looks as though the king's horses and men may be able to help. We often focus more on nursery rhymes' rhythm and beat than on the sense in the words, and even older readers will have fun with these wry, literal looks at familiar rhymes and the stories they tell.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist