All the Colors of the Earth

Grade 1-4

A poetic picture book and an exemplary work of art. The simple text describes children's skin tones and hair in terms of natural phenomena ("...the roaring browns of bears"; " that curls like sleeping cats in snoozy cat colors") and then describes love for these children with rich colors and flavors (" comes in cinnamon, walnut, and wheat..."). Hamanaka's oil paintings are all double-page spreads filled with the colors of earth, sky, and water, and the texture of the artist's canvas shines through. The text is arranged in undulant waves across each painting. This might be paired with Arnold Adoff's Black Is Brown Is Tan (HarperCollins, 1973), for younger readers, or his All the Colors of the Race (Lothrop, 1982), for older students, or read alone in celebration of diversity.

Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Reader Reviews from

By K. Southern:
I was told about this masterpiece by a dear friend of mine - it is one of her young son's very favorite stories and hers as well. I purchased this book from amazon about 18 months ago (right before my daughter was born) and have kept it on my nightstand ever since. I cannot bear to put this book anywhere else as I love to flip through the pages when the mood suits me - I absolutely adore the illustrations (which are based upon breath-taking canvas oil paintings) and the lyircal verse is abolutely perfect.

My favorite verses: "The tinkling pinks of tiny seashells by the rumbling sea" and "Love is amber and ivory and ginger ans sweet". My favorite illustrations: "roaring bear" & "soaring eagle" and "amber, ivory, ginger" (it looks exactly like my family!).While this book is perfect for multicultural families (many images of "mixed " families) like my own, it most definitely is a book for EVERYONE!

Everything about this book is wonderful: the message, the verse, the illustrations - the stunning simplicity of it all : "children come in all the colors of love, in endless shades of you and me".

By A Customer:
I am a first grade teacher and I use this book in my clasroom every year. It celebrates the beauty of all skin colors, hair colors and eye colors. This book teaches children that they are beautiful and that the people around them (even those who look very different from them) are beautiful as well! The small amount of text makes it short and easy to read, so the focus of a child's attention can be on the message of the book.

A Kid's Review:
I loved this book. Between the beautiful illistrations and the great message, it is a 5 star book. Kids will have fun looking at the pictures and seeing all the kids of different colors. I love a book with a good message.