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The ABC's of being a children's Librarian

Red Is a Dragon – Roseanne Thong

on August 24, 2012
Red is a dragon : a book of colors Red is a Dragon by Roseanne Thong Illustrated by Grace Lin
Age: Pre-K
Genre: Concept Books/Colors/Ethnicities
Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2001
Find this book at your local library

This book is a great way to introduce a number of concepts to young children. Not only do they learn about colors, but they also learn about different cultures, particularly elements of Chinese cultures. In this book, a young girl describes all the different things that she sees from red dragons, to yellow taxis to pink sunlight.

The illustrations are beautiful and somewhat dominate the book. Grace Lin is the well-known author of a number of books about Chinese-American life. What I love about Lin’s illustrations are the warmth in the colors that she chooses. Each page is dedicated to the color being described, the colors are vibrant but not overbearing. This book will be fantastic for large groups, as the images are sparse, which really emphasizes the colors being discussed. They also sync very nicely with Thong’s text.

Yellow are incense sticks
and flowers
Yellow are flames that burn for hours 
Purple are clouds
at the end of the day
Purple is a kite
that sails away

What I appreciate about the descriptions is that the are about things beyond the norm. It just a normal sky, but a sky at the end of the day. It isn’t the sun, but flames from a candle. There is even a small glossary to define some of the terms and objects in the book like; bottle gourd, lychee and incense sticks.

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