by: Sarah Momo Romero
When Mira asked me to write for the Blogateers after taking some of her courses, my first thought was one of disbelief, immediately followed by the obvious answer of, “Yes!! Of course, I would love to!” I am so honored and excited to share my thoughts on picture books and art with all of you. And having just signed my debut picture book writing and illustrating contract, I’m even more excited. So what better way to start a fresh new blog post from an artist’s perspective than a fantastic book featuring a rambunctious girl and her hunt for colors!
Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color by Julia Denos is a surprising take on the story of a girl on a quest. Swatch, the main character of the book, is a wild, and adventurous girl with a passionate love of color. She is a color tamer, and loves color so much, she literally captures colors in jam jars for her collection. How much fun would it be go about your day, capturing the wondrous colors of the world around us? The greens of the first spring blades of grass, the blues of the summer afternoon sky, the reds of a flickering campfire flame. Swatch does just that, until she encounters the strongest and most stubborn of all the colors, the magnificent yellow!
Art and the fun stuff!
What makes a picture book so wonderful is not only the way the story works with the illustrations, but the intricacies of the art that draw the eyes in, many times things readers don’t really think about. When reading a picture book, we don’t always think about why an illustration is so good, and how it’s creating the world to so effectively draw us into the author’s story. Julia Denos, the author and illustrator, created Swatch’s world with watercolor, pencil, pen and Photoshop, a magical combination for this story. Denos uses these various techniques to create movement, energy, and brightness in Swatch’s world. The brush strokes, the splatterings and layers of colors enhance the playfulness of Swatch’s hunt for colors. I’m sure you can tell how fantastically fun this book is in these photos, but you really have to see this book in person to appreciate all the fun up close.
Kids will love it because…
of the fun with art and colors! Denos splashes colors on the page with a playfulness and energy evoking a child’s finger painting in the best of ways. Swatch twirls, and jumps and prowls through the pages, chasing and capturing bright colors, showing kids a new way to think about art and imagination. And the Yellowest of Yellows, the King of all colors, comes to life as big as a lion, putting up a fight against the hunt. What an amazing characterization of color! Denos’ unlikely characters and pages brimming with color are a delight to read, one to return to again and again. It might even inspire little artists to pick up a paintbrush and create a King of Color all their own.
Sarah Momo Romero is a Japanese Peruvian American artist, a graphic designer by day and children's book author and illustrator by night. She’s loved drawing and painting since she was chiquita and now crafts stories of adventure and wondrous creatures. Sarah is an active SCBWI member who draws inspiration from her life in sunny Los Angeles with her husband/creative partner and dog/infamous escape artist, Peanut. Look out for her first picture book coming out in
You can find more of Sarah's musings and drawings here:
Facebook: thepeanutprojectla + Instagram: @sarahmomoromero + Twitter: @sarahmomoromero
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