This is a picture book. Except that it’s not really a picture book—not in the sense that we’d typically define a picture book. At 80 pages, it’s a bit lengthy for a picture book and is leveled at a 9-12 age level.
However, this book is worth a read, for adults as well as children. The words are beautiful and poetic and the only things equal to the words are the pictures. They’re engaging and imaginative and gorgeous.
“The Sound of Colors” is the story of a young girl whose eyesight slipped away about a year ago. She travels from subway stop to subway stop imagining the world around her:
“I listen for the sound of the colors I can’t see,” she says as she moves through her mind’s eye imagining and searching for the place where all the colors are: “Home is the place where everything I’ve lost is waiting patiently for me to find my way back.”
I’ve heard that this book is even more poignant in it’s native Chinese, but the translation is touching, emotional even. I’ve also read that in Chinese it transcends the story of a girl in a subway station and is an obvious metaphor for life. I see, even in the translated version, that there is more at play here than a girl with a white walking cane. I mostly love that this book isn’t really about blindness, it is about color and light and hope and love.
Trust me, it’s worth read.