How would you describe the colors of the rainbow to a child who was born without visual sight? If her eyes had never fixed on the colors of the world, or the contours of her momma’s face ~ if she had only seen the world through her many other senses, and as you splashed together in the puddles one rainy afternoon she asked you to please, “Tell me what the rainbow looks like…”
How would you respond?
In her beautiful new book, Love is the Color of a Rainbow, author, Kathy Parra, replies to this very question in a way that is both deeply involved and simple to understand ~ using our many senses to describe the blues, reds, greens, oranges, yellows and purples. Reading her words, if we close our eyes and imagine, or gaze upon the blissfully warm illustrations by Candace Keach, we can feel the rainbow’s colors coming alive around us.
Willow and her momma go out to splash barefoot in puddles and catch raindrops on their tongues (something my own son is thrilled to know other children do with their parents too!). The two of them hold a small snail, and feel the roundness of his shell to discover a rainbow’s shape. They stroll under the branches of a willow tree and feel the gentleness of green; and taste a fresh tomato off the vine to find that red is a color very much alive! Willow and her mom gather up wildflowers and breathe in the sweetness of orange and purple; and then feel the warmth that yellow brings with the summer’s sun, and the peace of the vast blue sky around us.
After their day’s adventures together, Willow wraps her arms around her momma, just as the rainbow wraps her arms around the earth, and Willow decides that a rainbow is colored very much like love.
The construction of Love is the Color of a Rainbow is softcover and printed by EcoFriendlyPrinter.com on recycled paper. I greatly appreciate this symmetry between the manner in which Parra presents herself and her story - her own respect for the earth and life around us - and the physical makeup of her book. A portion of the proceeds from Love is the Color of a Rainbow also go to support nature and environmental organizations.
The one aspect of this warm and colorful book that I wish were slightly different is the size of the text. Larger text in future editions would make it easier for parents and grandparents hard-of-sight themselves to read with their little ones, and easier for learning to read children to follow along.
Today was a rainy, cold, winter day here, but we did have a splendid time sharing Parra's book at the mall playground. Children gathered around and were eager to listen to all that Willow and her mother experienced on their own rainy day together. "Read it again!" came the requests, and in the words of my three year old, “This is The Beautiful Book!”
Read more about Love is the Color of a Rainbow and pick up a treasured copy of your own at KathyParra.com. Connect with Parra at her page on Facebook.
~ Give-Away Happening Now ~
Kathy Parra will be graciously giving away a signed copy of Love is the Color of a Rainbow to two peaceful parenting families who also have a heart for helping children connect with the natural world around them. If you take special moments to invest in a child's exploration of nature, to spend time outdoors, to talk with the plants and animals around you, to help little ones understand where their food comes from, or any number of other ways we come to understand love and compassion through the natural world, we'd love to hear from you.
1) Skip over to Kathy Parra's Facebook page and say hi ~ tell her you came from peaceful parenting.
2) Send us your story (and a photo if you wish) of something you and your child(ren) enjoy doing together in the natural world, and how it meshes with gentle family living. Email to DrMomma.firstname.lastname@example.org If this is a previously posted article on another site, you may email the link.
Two winners will be chosen at random on Feb 28th by Random.org (numbers assigned in the order entries are received). All entries will be read by peaceful parenting editors and are eligible for potential publishing at DrMomma.org. Please include a brief author's bio if you wish.
We look forward to hearing from you, and as Kathy would say ~ Dolphin Love!