My Many Colored Days
By Dr. Seuss
Paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
This is not a typical Dr. Seuss book, the rhyme scheme is there but it is not obvious or exaggerated. And the story does not take place in a fantasy world, but it is not necessarily realistic either. The story is simply a boy who tells about what he feels like on different days, represented by colors. He talks about his blue days, his yellow days, his hot pink days and his black days. The illustrations are beautiful, colorful, very lively and abstract looking.
I find it interesting that he chose to represent the different feelings with colors, and I think this is such a great way to relate to kids and how they think. By using colors instead of big words and complicated emotions, kids can understand what the little boy is feeling. It could be a way to start introducing the idea of “connotations” to a slightly older group of students, for example: what do you think the boy is feeling when he is blue? What makes you think that? What kinds of feelings does the color black make you think of, happy ones or sad ones? And other questions like this to help students start to get the idea that authors use certain types of words, or in this case colors, to make the reader feel a certain way.
Another great reason to use this book is to help younger kids understand moods and feelings on a different level. This book says that it is okay to be mad, sad, happy, excited, gloomy etc… at different times. It is even okay to feel confused about how you feel at certain times. I think that younger kids can be confused by their feelings, and this helps reinforce the idea that it is okay experience different feelings and that everyone goes through different emotions. I think this theme is an important one to discuss, and could be easily related to a writing exercise or to another topic in a different subject.