Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Color Collector

It’s another beautiful (I’m ignoring the mid-April snow!) Perfect Picture Book Friday, and I have a wonderful book to share with you today!

I was lucky enough to get to “talk” briefly with the author, Nicholas Solis, and he kindly shared his inspiration for the book which I think you’ll all be interested in hearing. I have added his thoughts below in the “Links To Resources” section.

But let’s start by having a look at this gorgeous book!

Title: The Color Collector

Written By: Nicholas Solis

Illustrated By: Renia Metallinou

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press, fiction, April 15, 2021

Suitable For Ages: 6-9 years

Themes/Topics: friendship, kindness, empathy

text copyright Nicholas Solis 2021, illustration copyright Renia Metallinou 2021, Sleeping Bear Press

Opening: “She was new.
She was quiet.
I think she was lonely.

That was the day I met Violet.

I was new once.
I said hello.

She smiled a little, I think.
But she was quiet.”

Brief Synopsis: A boy offers a kind word to a lonely new girl, and as the days pass and they walk home together, he notices all the colorful things she picks up and wonders why. She shares a little of her life with him, and their friendship blossoms, a wonderful thing for both of them.

Links To Resources: activities provided by author Nick Solis:

I asked Nick about his inspiration for writing this beautiful book and this was his reply:

“I was inspired by a piece of art by Graham Franciouse. The painting is of a little girl collecting leaves, and she had the saddest eyes I had ever seen. 

This story speaks to me in so many ways, but the main impact is that idea that even a kind word from one person can change another person’s entire life. My parents divorced when I was young and we moved around a lot. In the middle of 7th grade, I had to start a new school. Middle school is tough for anyone, but an overweight, shy kid starting in the middle of the year didn’t have a chance. The rest of that year was tough for me, and I was determined to go live with my father after 8th grade. But at the beginning of the school year one kid said hi to me. He invited me into his conversation with him and his friends and it changed my life. I became more open, funny, and creative. I made a ton of friends that year and stayed with my mom throughout middle school and high school. Most of the kids I met in high school are still my closest friends 25 years later. So all it takes is just one person to show a little kindness and their world can change. That’s what I hope to share with this book.” 

Why I Like This Book: This poignant story of friendship, beautifully told with an economy of words but with a real depth of emotion, shows just how much power we all have to make a difference in someone’s life with nothing more than a kind word or gesture. You can never know how much a kindness might mean to someone. The story is simple and lovely, and the art is gorgeous and complements it perfectly. I love how the opening spread is all shades of gray (please see above) and the last spread with both children in it (which is the second to last in the book) has come to life with color.

text copyright Nicholas Solis 2021, illustration copyright Renia Metallinou 2021, Sleeping Bear Press

In between, at the moment when their friendship really begins to take shape, Violet shows the boy the color and beauty of the life she left behind, which is how he begins to understand her.

text copyright Nicholas Solis 2021, illustration copyright Renia Metallinou 2021, Sleeping Bear Press

And the very last page shows how he has taken her words and experience to heart and begun to see how he can find the colors in his own world.

text copyright Nicholas Solis 2021, illustration copyright Renia Metallinou 2021, Sleeping Bear Press

It is a touching story of kindness and friendship that all young readers will relate to, an absolutely lovely book, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 😊

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific blog links (and any other info you feel like filling out 😊) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! 😊

17 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Color Collector

  1. palpbkids says:

    Thank you, Susanna, for bringing this to our attention.
    What a beautiful story and illustrations.
    I think so many of us can relate.
    Here’s to its success!

  2. syorkeviney says:

    What a wonderful premise to this book. It will be a book that I share with future early childhood educators as it resonates on so many levels…. the power of one individual to affect another positively, the power of nature, the power of art, acceptance and creativity! Thank you for sharing and thank you Nicolas for this wonderful story!

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