Review of The Color Kittens
The Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown is a bright and cheerful Little Golden Book about two kittens in overalls, Brush and Hush. (Brush has purple overalls, and Hush has blue). The kittens have buckets of paint, which they are mixing on their quest to find green, and make “all the colors in the world.” I bought this for a little one because I remembered it very fondly from my own childhood. It’s a very endearing story, with lots of details and little poems.
The illustrations by Alice and Martin Proversen are very cute. The kittens and their dreams are mostly brightly colored cartoons, and the landscapes are stylish. There are lots of different animals and objects sorted by color, which are very appealing to small children. There are fish, goats, a little bear, and all sorts of animals and things to identify. The story covers paints and color mixing, which is good for learning both color names and color theory. When the kittens eventually discover green, after much exploration, they have silly dreams in riotous color.
Looking the edition of childhood memories?
In some modern reprintings the illustrated end pages are excluded. Not a big deal plot-wise, but if you want the complete version, try the original 1949 edition, or the 1958 reprint,. The original will have a color wheel made of paint buckets on the front and back inside covers, and a cute closing song:
"Sing Ho for the color of Brush
Sing Ho for the color of Hush
Sing Ho for the color of Brush and Hush
Sing Ho for the color of color
The 1994 version was illustrated by Kathi Ember. Same story (no closing song), but a different art style. Ember draws rounder shapes, and adds more dimension to her cartoons than the original. Her version is also very cute. Ember's edition features the dancing green cat, which is the one I loved growing up.