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Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  771 ratings  ·  129 reviews
A vibrant picture book featuring an irrepressible new characterperfect for fans of The Dot and Beautiful Oops!from acclaimed illustrator Julia Denos. 

In a place where color ran wild, there lived a girl who was wilder still. Her name was Swatch, and color was her passion. From brave green to in-between gray to rumble-tumble pink . . . Swatch wanted to collect them all. But
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 15th 2016 by Balzer + Bray
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  771 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Aug 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
Bought this a while ago based on seeing a lot of really great reviews, and while there is a lot to love, I'm really not comfortable with the instances in which the girl looks to have a cutesy stereotypical headband and warpaint. I teach Native American kids - this book won't be going into my classroom.
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
A good books about colours and why we shouldn't keep them in jars. The illustrations are beautiful.
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

Julia Denos puts on one spectacular color show! Vivid colors spring, swoosh and whirl around this book. From spatters to splashes! The colors soar off the pages and into the room with you as you read. Ive never seen color used quite this way before. Its wild!

Rumble-Tumble Pink rolled through the sky on the heels of outgoing thunderstorms.

The colors redefine themselves! They move on the page in shapes, shades, and personality. Every color pops to life with a story of its own. Yellows unsettling
Michele Knott
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful picture book - one I need to own!
Great for theme and lessons learned.
Nov 04, 2015 rated it liked it
I always love Julia Denos. Her illustrations are full of life, and this book is no different. However, I really wish that the character wasn't wearing a headband across her forehead and colored stripes on her cheeks. Felt too much like the current hipster appropriation of Native American imagery that's running rampant.
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a gorgeous book: visually, textually, and conceptually. And it's not full of any of those annoying big words, either! I just love it and wish that I could live inside this book. Seriously.
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Swatch loved her colors and when she tried to tangle the yellow, she was quite surprised to what came next...
Laura Harrison
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
How I love Julia Denos. Beautiful and unique picture book.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, 2018
I love the illustrations in this book! Every page is filled to the brim with swirls of vivid colors. I read this during toddler storytime, and on each page I would point to different colors and asked them what colors there were. Afterwards, we did a fun process art activity with bleeding tissue paper, cardstock, and water. I got the idea from here: https://www.fantasticfunandlearning.c...

Instead of using spray bottles, we used medical droppers (the youth services closet in my library is
Brandi Kutz
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
IL: LG - BL: 3.0 - AR Pts: 0.5

I loved the illustrations! So much color and such an interesting story. Swatch is basically a color-bender. And she loves every color from Bravest Green to In-Between Gray to Rumble-Tumble Pink. But sometimes colors don't exactly want to be tamed.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations and nice personification.
As an educator you are entirely focused with heart, soul and mind every single day of the school year. You are also thinking at the same time of the next year; how you can do things better and what you will need to do to be better. By the time your classroom is closed for the summer, you are up to your eyebrows in plans for the upcoming year.

While not a top priority but still necessary is gathering materials for all your hands-on projects. Elementary students really enjoy using crayons. A huge
Courtney Huskisson
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Holey-moley! This book is an incredible work of art. Literally breathtaking; at one particular page-turn I audibly gasped. I realize it's only May - but this is my contender for the Caldecott. Hands-down.

Swatch--the color-tamer--is a girl equally as wild as the colors she chases. Each color is it's own unique character with it's own unique personality. And swatch learns that colors with their own unique personality must be allowed to take their own course. The vibrancy of this book explodes off
This was a lot of fun! Swatch is a little girl who loves color. The book goes from a gentle lesson on the observant life ("In-Between Gray lived on her kitten's leg") to one on letting wild things stay wild. In Swatch's world, colors are riotous swirls with wills of their own. Weirdly, this reminded me of A Corner of White, first in "The Colors of Madeleine" teen series, in which colors have a mind of their own and can attack. That concept was odd in that book, and it's odd here, but if you go ...more
This book is absolutely wonderful! I love it. This beautiful picture book takes us into the world of Swatch, an amazing little girl who is a color tamer: "She was small, but she was not afraid." She runs, dances, and performs magic with the wildest shades. She spends much of her time hunting the rarest colors. And while she loved the colors and they loved her back, could they be truly magnificent if they were tamed and kept in jars? The illustrations are breathtaking. I think this book would be ...more
Alicia Evans
I took this book out to my daycare storytimes this month and it was the most captivating book ever! The kids loved the bright colors as well as the excitement and wonder. It also never got boring for me to read, which is a mark of a good picture book in my opinion. I highly recommend this one.

For: storytimes about color and imagination; whimsical readers.

Possible red flags: Yellowest Yellow could potentially be scary to some young readers with his sharp teeth and ferocious roar.
Carol Mccoy
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love color! This book is about a little girl's search for colors that she then places in jars to keep for herself. However, when she meets "Yellow" she discovers the true nature of colors and everything changes! This book would be a great gift for a budding artist or anyone who loves color as much as I do :-)
Mary Lee
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book, art, 2016
A colleague asked me just yesterday for resources that demonstrate personification. Here you go -- colors as sentient beings (and a fun girl character who learns a good lesson about not trying to tame what's wild)!
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Something about this one that I loved.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: easy, lap, concept, ps
loved how swatch learned to be respectful of the colors! great starting point for parents to discuss considering the feeling of pets and friends while not tamping down a child's unbridled passion.
Baby Bookworm
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Our book today is Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color/ by Julia Denos, the story of a color whisperer learning a lesson about the importance of freedom.

Swatch is a little girl who loves colors, and the colors love her right back. They bend and twist and dance around her, and she wrangles them with her sweet demeanor and wild energy. She hunts the most vivid shades when she can:
Viviane Elbee
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a very colorful book. I can see it being used in a preschool class or elementary class right before art time - encouraging kids to use lots of color in fun, messy ways.

It could also be used with older elementary school students to discuss personification.

This is a quick read so it works for short story times too.

Great art - kids may want a re-read just for the art.

My kids enjoyed it.

Note: Although the main character wears headbands and face paint, Im not sure she is Native American, so
This book is GLORIOUS. It's about a little girl who loves color; she's a color tamer. The colors are in "the wild" she hunts them down and captures them.

But, the plot doesn't matter. This book is about the illustrations, which primarily consist of swirly, twirly, bursts of color. Text is relatively sparse in comparison and onomatopoeia brings the colors to life.

Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh. I could read this book over and over. So fun. So colorful. Highly recommended for color lovers, imaginative people,
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-artistic
A girl cleverly named Swatch loves colors and the possibilities of them. She observes tall over her world and their relationship with each other . She has a sudden idea to catch them in containers like sought after collectible treasures. In the later part of the book each page spread is dedicated to catching a specific color. Young artists will appreciate not only the use of color in this book but how each color is treated like a living, impactful thing.
Jo Oehrlein
I'm a bit confused about what this book wants to be.

It is beautiful. I love all the color in the illustrations.

However, what does it mean for colors to be wild or to be locked up? The book, as others have mentioned, is certainly good for illustrating personification.

It's like the author took a storyline about animals (don't try to imprison wild animals -- they're meant to be free) and applied it to colors.
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-kids
My 4-year old daughter really liked this book. The color illustrations are very vibrant, and for a girl who loves rainbows, this was perfect. My daughter said she hadn't thought about having colors as friends before. She was also shocked at the part of the book where the girl gets scared, and prepares to be eaten by the color yellow. This inspired much discussion. Ultimately, the girl was not eaten and it wasn't too scary. Overall, a nice children's book.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Swatch loves colors. In fact, she loves them so much, she decides to collect them in jars. However, when she approaches Yellowest Yellow, she learns that colors don't necessarily want to be captured and collected. Beautiful colors, creative names, and a nice introduction to passion and empathy.
Can I be a color tamer?!

This wild child is my spirit animal! She loves color so much & doesn't care for the mess. For it all makes art! But it's true, color can't be tamed.

This is how I feel when I draw with charcoal. It's messy but fun to use. :)

(Date(s) & Time(s) Read: 12th August 2019; 3:53pm to 12th August 2019; 3:58pm)
Donna Mork
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cute artistic book about a girl who loved to tame the colors. She tried to keep them all in a jar until she got to the yellow and it didn't want to stay in a jar. It took her for a ride across the sky and she called all the other colors to her, and together they made a masterpiece.
I would give it five stars for the sheer joy and energy of the illustrations, and maybe three stars for the story, which is fun but not memorable. And I appreciate another reviewers point about Swatchs headband and face paint looking uncomfortably appropriative. ...more
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Julia Denos earned a BFA in illustration from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. She lives outside of Boston.

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