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How the Finch Got His Colors
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How the Finch Got His Colors

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Many years ago, before the world bloomed in magnificent colors, the Earth lay stark and gray.

The animals that graced its skies and roamed its lands were the colors of dirt, clay, and stone . . .

. . . until Rainbow descended to bestow her colors on the creatures of the world. Each bird asked for a bright and beautiful color: green for Parrot, red for Cardinal, and yellow f
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 2018 by Familius
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Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Folklore and Fairy-Tale Lovers
Opening in a primitive world in which everything is the color of dirt, clay and stone, this picture-book retelling of a Belgian folktale explains how color came to be in the world, and how the Gouldian Finch became one of the world's most colorful birds. After a deluge, Rainbow appears for the first time, bestowing her colors on the animals in the world beneath her. All the birds line up for their share, but when the little finch, last of all, finally gets his turn, there are no more colors. Wha ...more

This is a gorgeous little mythical origin story, beautifully illustrated.

Somewhat disappointing that they didn't do an Aussie spelling version of this one as it might cause confusion for readers who are still learning, but a lovely addition to the collection anyway.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interest Level: K-3

How boring would it be if the world and everything in it were the color of dirt, clay, and stone? Pretty boring, right? Well many years ago, that's just how it was until one day it rained and then a rainbow came out. As the rainbow came down it bathed everything in color a little at a time. As all of the birds clamored to get a color of their own, the Great Bird noticed that one little Gouldian Finch remained grey. He was patiently waiting for his turn to get a color when the
Kimberly Sabatini
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
HOW THE FINCH GOT HIS COLORS is the full package. This folktale retelling is lyrical, but very accessible for young readers. The illustrations are gorgeous and there are wonderful, deeper messages embedded in the book that parents and teachers can expand upon in a very organic way. As a bonus, FINCH comes with fun facts about Gouldian Finches, discussion questions and a bibliography. Guertin does an amazing job with her debut picture book and I can't wait to see what the brings to the shelves ne ...more
Lisa Lewis
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-books
This book is wonderfully written, the lyrics sing to my heart. The illustrations are beautiful and eye-catching. I have just purchased it as a gift for our Montessori school, and I am sure it will be treasured for a long time.
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Imagine my joy when I saw that this was written by a local author! The illustrations are colorful and beautiful, and the story is the perfect length and tone to capture and hold a youngster’s attention.
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lovely little origin story about the colorful Gouldian finch, possibly my new favorite bird ( Pair with Ashley Bryan's "Beautiful Blackbird." Folk-art-looking illustrations by Helena Perez Garcia -- how awesome is the cover design?? ...more
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A gentle treatment of how diversity in wildlife depends on sharing. The finch waited his turn to be given colors, but when it seemed as if the rainbow had been all used up, the great bird finds a solution by taking a bit from each color and thus makes the finch the most beautiful bird in the world.

This is based on a Belgian folk tale.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-je
As rainbow shimmered down, she turned everything in her path into bright, bold colors.

With one swift kiss, Rainbow worked her magic.

Cardinal, a vibrant red like the fire's flame.

Blue Jay, a shadowy blue like the ocean's hidden depths.

Canary, a brilliant yellow like the sun's dawning rays.

With one swift kiss, Rainbow worked her magic.

Once upon a time, all the animals were gray. Then rainbow came and offered them colors. The birds clamored to get theirs, all except the finch, who waited patiently for his turn. But when the colors ran out before his turn came, the rainbow picked a little bit of color from each of the birds. Love the illustrations in this one.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it
This a retelling of a Belgian folktale about finches from New Guniea and Northern Australia. I had a little difficulty connecting the dots and of course - one of the students said this not how the bible tells it. I think too soon in the school year for this read. I had to remind them that it was a folktale. So not the truth?
Jenna Grodzicki
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Based on a Belgian folktale, this is the story of how one small finch's patience earned him a splash of color from all the other birds in the sky. Gorgeous illustrations and beautiful language make this pourquoi tale a winner.
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am awestruck by how beautiful this story and the art in this book are.

A great way to teach patience and kindness, while explaining how birds came to be colored. I love when authors being folktales back to life in such a brilliant way!
Patricia McLaughlin
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Lovely illustrations and magical story bring this Belgian folktale to life with living color; includes interesting characteristics of common birds and creation stories about the origin of their plumage, particularly the Gouldian finch and its fitting reward for patience.
Kourtney LaFavre
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A delightful and mystical retelling of an old folk tale. The brilliant illustrations paired with the wonderful text make this a great addition to any book collection. The story touches upon patience and kindness, promoting opportunities for discussion.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous and could be used as a springboard into a non-fiction study of birds and/or more specifically the Gouldian finch. It's so nice to see more picture books illustrated from around the world. Such a boon for young people.
Sandra Sutter
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeously written and illustrated, this book is sure to please the folktale-loving kids and their parents.
Lisa Day
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I didn't realize this book was a re-telling, but as I hadn't heard the story before I thought it was beautiful as are the illustrations.
Such rich illustrations that use color to great impact, a nice retelling of a Belgian folktale.
The Brothers
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: birds, rainbows, fables, colors
Rainbow bestows her beautiful colors on an eagerly awaiting group of birds, but Finch didn't manage to get noticed. Luckily, all the birds offer him a little of their color.

Beautifully illustrated.
A gorgeous retelling of a Belgium folktale about how the Gouldian Finch got his colors.

Great for folklore, bird, color and rainbow units.
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written and illustration modern pourquois tale about a particular finch and its multicolored array of feathers. I love it and I think kids will as well
Stephanie Campisi
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written creation story with rich, evocative prose and breathtaking folk-art illustrations. One for both the bookshelf and for framing on the wall!
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful . Teacher approved :)
Jolene Gutiérrez
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This porquoi story tells us the origin of the Gouldian finch's beautiful colors. All animals used to be gray and brown, but after much rain, a rainbow emerges and kisses many birds with color. But poor, patient Finch waits his turn until all the colors are used up. Will Finch be gray forever? Gorgeous illustrations accompany this lovely story, and back matter including discussion questions allow readers to think critically about the story.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"How the Finch Got His Colors" by Annemarie Guertin. I loved this book. To be honest I bought this book to support Annemarie because her daughter and my daughter are friends. I like supporting new authors, and she also worked at one of the elementary schools as a teacher. Great for any age. For parents with younger children they would love hearing this story while looking at the beautiful pictures. School aged children will also enjoy reading this on their own.
Danielle Peraza
rated it it was amazing
Nov 17, 2019
rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2018
rated it liked it
Apr 24, 2018
Kendall Ball
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May 22, 2018
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Annemarie Riley Guertin graduated with a bachelor of science degree in early childhood education from Wheelock College and a master's degree (summa cum laude) in elementary education from Fitchburg State University. Annemarie is an adjunct early childhood professor and a first grade teacher. She lives in Haverhill, Massachusetts, with her husband, Michael and their two children.

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