The Color Collector

The Color Collector is a poignant story about newness, friendship, and common ground. When a boy notices the new girl picking up all manner of debris and litter on their walks home from school he wants to know why. So she shows him the huge mural she's created in her room that reminds her of the home she left behind. He learns all about where she's come from and they both find how wonderful it is to make a new friend.

Format List Price Your Price Qty
$16.99 $16.99
$28.99 $28.99
Interest Level Grade 1 - Grade 4
Reading Level Grade 2
Dewey [E]
Lexile AD340L
ATOS Reading Level
Guided Reading Level J
Language English
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Available Formats Hardcover (9781534111059), PDF (9781534179042), Hosted ebook (9781534179196)
Copyright 2021
Number of Pages 32
Dimensions 9 x 11
Graphics Full-color illustrations

The Seattle Book Review - The Color Collector

“This is an original story about kindness, creativity, and culture. It’s thoughtfully written and demonstrates how a few simple acts of compassion can be the catalyst for a budding friendship in which commonalities are found and differences embraced. The ingenuity of the young girl, Violet, in reconstructing her past with an array of odds and ends is remarkable. The illustrations are unique. Minimal color is discoverable in the first few, but as Violet adds to her collection, more hues become visible in the pictures. Children aged five to nine will find this artistic element alluring and will likely treasure this noteworthy pick.”

Library Mom Books

“This tender tale skillfully depicts the impact of the boy’s kindness in the black and white illustrations that light up with color as the friendship blooms. The acts of saying hello and listening may seem simple, but this story demonstrates the powerful effect empathy can have in changing someone’s life and helping them feel seen.”

Kirkus Reviews - The Color Collector

A homesick young immigrant collects colorful scraps in an effort to re-create the colors of the home she has left behind.

A muted double-page spread in shades of gray introduces the story, the only touch of color coming from the violet bands holding the braids of a lonely girl on the school playground. From the narrator—another child in the school—readers learn her name is Violet and she is new. They walk home the same way every day, and a quiet, tentative friendship develops between the two. On the walks, Violet picks up colorful cookie wrappers, bits of paper, bottle caps, and leaves, all disappearing into her backpack.

When finally asked the purpose of her collection, Violet extends an invitation to her home and reveals a bedroom exploding with lush colors. Every piece of paper, every leaf, has found a place in the vast collage that encompasses all of her room, depicting the sky, beach, palm trees, and village the homesick child misses so much. “I miss the sounds and smells. And I miss the colors.” Violet having finally confided in someone, readers will see that not just her room, but even the outside is now colorful, and both children are smiling.

A good discussion starter on empathy.

Author: Nicholas Solis

Nicholas Solis is an author/illustrator and elementary school teacher. The Color Collector is his second book. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Illustrator: Renia Metallinou

Renia Metallinou’s work combines traditional and digital media. In 2017 she was short-listed for the World Illustration Awards in the children’s book category. She lives in Greece.

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Full-color illustrations