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The Black Book of Colours
Photographed by Ian MacPherson
Text by Benjamin Garland
It’s always a joy to discover a picture book that is truly innovative, such as The Black Book of Colours. It is deceptively simple: a picture book for the blind, complete with embossed illustrations. That alone is remarkable. But what makes this book so unique and wonderful is the way that idea is executed. The book describes colours – not how they look but how they feel. And it does so without the use of any colour at all. Except for the text, which is pure white, everything else is black.
Herein lies the genius of the book: not only does it allow visually impaired children to ‘see’ the illustrations with their fingers, creating as near as possible an impression of the different colours, but it also offers sighted children a unique and unparalleled glimpse into the world of a blind person. Every word is first embossed in Braille – the words we can see are translated – and the book contains a key to the Braille alphabet at the end. As an educational tool for the discussion of disability it is unmatched. Even as an
object, beautiful in its simplicity and far-reaching in its function, it is a stunning and important book.
The Black Book of Colours by Menena Cottin & Rosana Faria
A$24, Spoilt Rotten, +612 9958 8888.