The Colors of Us
The Colors of Us

The Colors of Us

Written and illustrated by Karen Katz
4 - 8
Reading age
Page count
Words per page
Lexile measure
Sep 15, 1999
Publication date

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What's The Colors of Us About

Publisher Summary

Seven-year-old Lena and her mother observe the variations in the color of their friends’ skin, viewed in terms of foods and things found in nature. By the author of Over the Moon: An Adoption Tale.

What Kind of Book is The Colors of Us

Primarily about


What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • Talk about the people in your family and the people in your community. What color brown skin do they all have? Remember that even white people have melanin, and very very light tan skin. This is a great way to introduce the idea that all skin colors are beautiful.


Book Lists That Include The Colors of Us

The Creative Behind the Book

    Karen Katz

    Something about me I have always been interested in folk art from around the world: Indian miniatures, Mexican ceramics, fabrics, Chagall, Matisse, children’s art, and promitive painting, and I love to paint and experiment with pattern, texture, collage and color. The careers I’ve had – as a costume designer, a quilt maker, a fabric artist, and a graphic designer – have taken all these interests into account. Looking back, I can see that these passions and career choices have played a large part in influencing me to become a children’s book author and illustrator. But most importantly, it was after my husband I adopted our daughter from Guatemala that I was inspired to do a children’s book for her. My first book, Over the Moon, was the story of that magical experience of welcoming our daughter Lena into our lives. I painted, I drew, I collaged, and I wrote , and after working very hard . . . a beautiful book was born! Twenty-two books later, my daughter – fourteen years old – still is an inspiration for me. I am fascinated by babies and little kids. The simplest words and gestures can make them laugh. Sometimes standing in line at the supermarket and watchin kids in grocery carts, my best ideas are born. I am fasinated by people from all over the world and what they look like and how they live and the differences that make us all unique. When an idea pops into my head I ask these questions: — will a child want to read this book? — Will a parent want to read this book with their child? — Will this book make a parent and child feel something? — Is there something visual here that will hold a child’s interest? — Will a child see something in a different way after reading this book? — If the answer is yes, then I know I’m on the right track. I am very lucky to get to do what I do. Everyday I go into my studio and have fun. Don’t get me wrong, some days are very frustrating. Sometimes the colors are all wrong and the words don’t sound right. But after I work at it for a while . . . and try to do it in a different way. . . and think. . . and change the words or colors . . . and try some more. . . suddenly, there it is – a great page of writign, or a great illustration.. And nothing is more satisfying than that!

What Has Karen Katz Said About This Book

Nothing yet! Let Karen Katz know that you want to hear from them about their book.

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Book Details

Publication Date
September 15, 1999
Henry Holt and Co (BYR)
Illustration Details
The artist used collage, gouache, and colored pencils to create the illustrations for this book
Page Count
Words Per Page
Reading Age
4 - 8 years
Lib. of Congress (LCCN)
WorldCat Number (OCLC)
Lexile® Level
Est. Fountas & Pinnell Level
ATOS® Book Level
Accelerated Reader® Points
Accelerated Reader Quiz
Accelerated Reader Interest Level

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