A Publishers Weekly Best Picture Book of 2020
A Kirkus Best Book of 2020
A Shelf Awareness Best Children's Book of 2020
Best Illustrator Award, 2021 Northern Lights Book Awards
Poetic and sparse, a bedtime story told by the elements.
Gentle and lyrical, Every Color of Light is a bedtime story told by the elements.
Every Color of Light opens on a lush, green forest in the rain. Illustrated by the masterful Ryoji Arai, the calm is shattered when the wind picks up and lightning cuts the sky. Yet out of this turbulence, the day blooms bright, the flowers open, and raindrops roll and drip down to the forest floor. The sun sets. The moon rises, and in a pool of water we see its reflection. We go to sleep with the forest, sinking into the pool, into the calm reflection of the moon. Harmonizing our human experience to the natural world, Arai invites the reader to hold imaginative space for our oneness with the natural world.
"The life-affirming splendor of the spectrum within and without is what Japanese poet and picture-book author Hiroshi Osada and artist Ryoji Arai celebrate in Every Color of Light: A Book about the Sky (public library), translated by David Boyd — a tender serenade to the elements that unspools into a lullaby, inviting ecstatic wakefulness to the fulness of life, inviting a serene surrender to slumber...“Arai’s almost synesthetic art — radiating more than color, radiating sound, a kind of buzzing aliveness — only amplifies this sense of consolation in the drama of the elements, this sense of change as a portal not to terror but to transcendent serenity.” -Brain Pickings
"Simply spectacular...Osada’s sensory text is written in a satisfyingly economical and precise manner: “Setting, the light turns everything golden. Stilling, the water shines silver.” Sprinkled throughout the text is punchy, onomatopoeic language, such as “boom, bah-bah-BOOM!” for thunder. Arai’s lush, atmospheric landscape art is remarkably textured, with what appear to be scratches in the art for the driving rain. Appropriately, the palette is the star of the show; readers see every mood of Mother Nature and her corresponding colors: all shades of green imaginable; warm pastel shades of light filling the sky; vivid, golden, post-rain hues." -STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews
Mindfulness, spectacle and awe emanate from every page of this breathtaking collaboration. Arai's forceful use of color and line tell as much of the story as Osada's punctuation-less text loaded with illuminating figurative language. Kudos to David Boyd, who translated this 2011 picture book from the Japanese, for text that sounds as melodic as Osada's original poetry must be. All three contributors express a respect for nature's strength, resilience and beauty. Rain or shine, Every Color of Light is a cleansing breath of fresh air.-STARRED REVIEW, Shelf Awareness
Over the course of a day, the attentive eye will notice all sorts of luminous details: little shafts of sun, the glint of reflections on water, radiant stars in an inky sky. But how often does the eye attend? It’s a question that arises in a silent way with “Every Color of Light”, an exquisite picture book for children ages 4-7 written by Hiroshi Osada and translated from the Japanese by David Boyd: “Look, it’s raining. / Pitter-patter, pitter patter. / The rain gets louder. / Wetter and wetter, the blues darken. / So do the greens.” Ryoji Arai’s artwork has a spacious, distempered, breathless feel: Rain slashes across dark vegetation; afternoon light gilds foliage. Poised and lovely, the language and images here combine to awaken the reader’s awareness of fugitive moments of natural beauty. -The Wall Street Journal
In a strong translation by Boyd, a Japanese team captures the magic of a summer rainstorm. Working in thick, dense strokes, Arai (What What What?) creates a lake surrounded by foliage whose colors range from spring green to spruce blue. Silver streaks show the first drops: “Look, it’s raining.” The rain falls harder (“Wetter/ And wetter”), and the greenery, the late poet Osada observes, changes: “The blues darken/ And so do the greens.” Wind whips, leaves fly, rain slashes sideways; bolts of lightning flash across the spreads amid sodden blossoms; and thunder follows, “Cracking/ Crashing.” After a few final flashes in the distance, the sky clears, and the storm is shown to have been ephemeral: “Look, no more rain.” The sun sets, dusk falls, the stars emerge (“Shining,/ They share their stories”). By employing landscapes in lieu of human or animal characters, Osada and Arai ask readers to look—really look—at the rain, the way the changing weather transforms the visible spectrum, and the magnificence of the night sky, phenomena all too often unseen in a hurry-up world. The result is a story that sharpens the senses and quiets the soul. -STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly
- Shelf Awareness Best Children&amp;#39;s Book of 2020
- Kirkus Best Book of 2020
- Publishers Weekly Best Picture Book of 2020
- Best Illustrator Award