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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Color of the Night (The)
by Hélène Kérillis
Age Range: 6-8
The Kokolors tribe are always cheerful. They are cheerful all the time because that is the rule. Vahine-Noa is queen of the daylight and lives for happiness and colour while her sister, Vahine Po is queen of the night and lives for her dreams, darkness, and silence.
When a young boy called Tevai arrives with his dog Anani and asks if he can play the drums with the other boys no one answers. As Tevai casts a shadow on the ground they tell him to go away otherwise he will bring them bad luck. Tevai cannot understand why they won’t accept him, although deep down he knows. Amongst the Kokolors dreams, silence and deep thoughts are forbidden because they bring shadows. Tevai cannot stand this forced happiness but what can he do about it? Set in a Tahitian village, this simple but enchanting tale by Hélène Kérillis was inspired by Paul Gauguin’s painting ‘Arearea’ (Happiness). Vanessa Hie’s stunningly rich watercolour illustrations really capture the spirit of Gauguin’s painting with their vivid colour and mystical quality.
Children will be drawn into Hie's vibrant artwork as they follow Tevai's story. At the back of the book is a reproduction of ‘Arearea’ by Paul Gauguin painted in oils in 1892 together with a brief introduction to the painter and his work. Another beautiful art book from Prestel in the ‘Pictures That Tell Stories: Art for Children’ series.