All The Colours I See
The quickest of flicks through Allegra Agliardi’s journey through the rainbow and you know you’re in for a treat. From the simple, bold cover illustration, the technicolour endpapers and the intricate die-cut peepholes, All the Colours I See is a visual feast for children.
There are hundreds of picturebooks about colour on the market. As you would expect from a publisher like Tate, however, the artistry of this one stands head and shoulders above others. Each spread is like a watercolour painting in its own right; great swathes of colour – reminiscent of Rothko – fill entire pages. And unlike other books introducing little ones to the colours of the rainbow, the diversity of the palette used is delightful. The reader doesn’t just experience ‘yellow’ – they explore the full range of yellow from canary through to sand, via lemon, amber and gold. Likewise for blue, red and green. Agliardi’s background as a graphic designer really comes to the fore in her exquisite use of die-cuts. They are unique on each page, with some taking on traditional shapes that children will recognise and others, like the rounded tummy of the dog or the pips of the sour lime, much more individual and fun. With so many visual elements to keep readers engaged, it’s easy to forget about the book’s gentle text that lends itself to being read aloud. As with any book written in a second language, the rhyming structure may not flow perfectly, but the author’s vibrant use of language, imagery and illustration make this celebration of colour and the natural world a wonderful book to return to again and again.