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The Colours of History

The Colours of History
Written by Clive Gifford
Illustrated by Marc-Etienne Peintre
QED    £10.99
ISBN: 978-1784939670

Subtitled How Colours Shaped the World, this very colourful information title celebrates the importance of colour in our world and the role it has played in different societies over time.  It is a lovely book which succeeds in communicating the history and pleasure of colour as much by its excellent design as by its vivid images and engaging text. The book is divided into broad headings covering the main colour groups. Each section then explores a colour in more detail by focussing on the origins and uses of particular pigments and shades. Entertaining stories behind Gamboge, Cochineal, Indigo, Scheele's Green and Lime White are among those which the author and illustrator explore. The range is fascinating and varied, leading to a journey of discovery into history, art, science, nature, cultures and traditions. Highlights include how the Lascaux Cave paintings in France were created using Yellow Ochre over 17,000 years ago, and that Tyrian Purple is made from sea snail mucus! A great book for young readers to learn about colour. (9+)
Anne Walker



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