Blue & Other Colours with Henri Matisse

This beautiful board book introduces toddlers to colours using 25 vibrant works of art by Henri Matisse. The bold shapes and vibrant colours in Matisse’s cutouts will appeal to young readers, and the works are brilliantly reproduced. Phaidon Press’s reputation for creating high-quality art books is justified.

The use of colour in the typography is effective and creates visual links with the colours in the images. The text (designed to be read aloud) is enthusiastic, and there is an ‘About the Artist’ section at the end. This short biography and the image list at the front are useful, though perhaps more for the parents or older children.

This book not only introduces colours and colour identification, but also concepts of colour placement and mixing, and encourages art appreciation. It is a simple book, but one that offers opportunities for exploration and for art projects – children could create their own paintings and cutouts inspired by Matisse’s work.

This is the first title in Phaidon Press’s ‘First Concepts with Fine Artists’ series. The second (Squares and Other Shapes with Josef Albers) explores shapes through geometric art. An exciting way to introduce ‘First Concepts’ that offers much scope for creativity and learning.