Coloring the Rainbow: The Power of Connection by Catherine Rose
Welcome to my stop on The Children’s Book Review in partnership with Catherine Rose for her book, Coloring the Rainbow: The Power of Connection.
About the Book:
Coloring the Rainbow: The Power of Connection tells a story of the magic created when the unique talents of a diverse group of children are shared in a colorful adventure.
The adventure begins when we see through a boy’s window to find a young trombonist pausing his practice to wonder if other musical voices exist. When an alluring treble note wafts through his window, he begins an excited quest to find the answer. Playing his horn through his neighborhood, the boy draws other curious children to play their unique instruments along with him.
Together, they played:
“Lend your voice, play your part!
Something grand is beginning―
join us for the start!”
The procession of music makers is touched with magic when their combined voices, raised in harmony, orchestrate a colorful miracle.
The ease of poetry and vibrant illustrations make this book a perfect keepsake for any gift-giver wishing to explore the values of diversity and inclusion with young, loved ones.
Interview with the author:
Q. What inspired you to write Coloring the Rainbow?
A. Two concerning trends inspired me to write Coloring the Rainbow: the amount of time children spend alone, connecting to the world through electronic devices and the way grownups have divided into camps of opposing values. I am concerned that children are experiencing so much negativity online that it is affecting their sense of self-worth. The adults, in their entrenched positions, can’t seem to bridge their divides. In both situations, people, young and old, seem to be in danger of losing what makes our human connections so meaningful: compassion, empathy, mutual respect and understanding. Perhaps the place to begin making changes for a more loving world, is by teaching children to value meaningful connection with others before any lines are drawn. This is the inspiration behind my book Coloring the Rainbow.
Q.How did the idea of teaching children inclusivity and connection through color metaphor come to You?
A. In my elementary school years, I had the good fortune of having a science teacher who was very much like “Bill Nye the science guy”. I’ll never forget the demonstration he did for our 5th grade class. Mr. Barnes projected colors of the rainbow up on to a white screen, one color at a time. The light energy of each color blended in a beautiful combination of hues, until the last color was projected on the screen. At that moment, all the colors disappeared. All that remained was light, a pure white light. The rainbow then, is the result of white light being fractionalized by the prisms of raindrops allowing us to see, for a few brief moments, all the different colors that make up the unifying white light of our atmosphere. Wouldn’t it be lovely to think about love as being the white light energy around us all,that is made up of all the hues of our collective humanity?
Q. What is my favorite moment in the story and what is my favorite color?
A. I especially enjoyed when the children held hands and looked up to the sky to see just what they created by sharing a loving and joyful connection.
My favorite color is indigo.
Q. Have music and animals always been a part of your life?
What a delightful question! Music and animals have always been a part of my life, to my great joy! Musically, I do not play an instrument, but I have been singing soprano in choirs since I was eight years old. I have always preferred being in the choir rather than being a soloist, because I love standing amid beautiful voices making music together. I presently sing with the Appalachian State University Community Choir in the Fall semester and the University of Central Florida’s Community Choir in the Spring semester.
My pets have included both domesticated and wild animals! As a child, I loved vising my grandfather’s farm trying to build a relationship with all the farm animals. Petting a 500-pound sow is no easy task!
I had better luck enjoying 19-years with a spunky, white West Highland Terrier named Miss Maggie. Presently, I live on 10 acres in the mountains of North Carolina where I thoroughly enjoy what I call “watching the nature channel”. I look out my windows or sit on the porch to check on our deer, fox, birds of all varieties, and our raccoons. We have made our acreage a sanctuary for the animals, giving me endless hours of enjoyment feeling a deep connection to all creatures with whom we share the land.
Q. When you started writing the story, what age group did you intend it for?
A. My intention was to write a story that a parent would read with any aged child, as an opportunity to have a follow-up chat about the meaning of inclusion and diversity in their lives. This book can be enjoyed as a read-a-loud to a 3-6-year-old and as a read-together or young reader story for a 6-12-year-old.
Q. Have you heard from any young reader? What do they seem to like most about the story?
A. I would love to know what a young reader likes about the story. My feedback to date includes only preschoolers and grownups. For example, one three-year-old little friend was most excited to learn where rainbows come from. My pre-school granddaughter wanted to know if animals could really dance. The young ones seem to delight in the pictures, as one would expect. In addition, I had a mom send me a picture of her 12-year-old reading the story to his 3-year-old sister and they were both enthralled with the story and pictures. A grandpa sent a picture of him reading to his 4- and 6-year-old granddaughters and they too were paying close attention. A comment heard repeatedly comes from several grownups who said that they have read it over and over because they love the message of the book. Present critique appears to be positive in these age groups.
But the demographic that I have not heard from, is the young reader. I am most interested in how readable the poetry is for this age group, how well the story’s meaning is interpreted by the young reader group and whether the illustrations may be enjoyed by an older child. These are questions left unanswered at the present time and I am most excited to learn more!
Q. Is this the first children’s book you’ve written? Should we expect to see any more books for you in the future?
A, Yes, this is my first children’s book. I have a second book written and it is presently being illustrated. My third book, for what I am envisioning as a trilogy, is merely a whisper of inspiration.
Q. Is there anything else you would like to share about Coloring the Rainbow?
When I began thinking about a story to tell, I wrote several blogs to myself to clarify my vision for the book. The following paragraph is one such blog:
I envision a world in which all people are accepted exactly as they are, believing that each individual has a gift to share with an awaiting world. It is our responsibility as grownups to help each child discover their potential, while teaching goodwill towards others with different dreams. As in an orchestra, where no sound is valued more highly than another, each of us plays a part in contributing to a world of harmony.
Where you can find the book:
Catherine Rose is enjoying that time of life when one thinks of creating a legacy. What are the lessons learned from living life’s adventure that would benefit generations to come?
As a pediatric nurse, she wrote therapeutic stories to help children cope masterfully with injury and illness. Her present stories weave tales with similarly empowering messages to support children’s development of resilience, confidence and empathy.
Rose writes from the back porch of her log home, inspired by the profile of Mount Jefferson in North Carolina. Married to her high school sweetheart, they now enjoy perpetual recess with their two grandchildren, whose favorite activity is to read a book written by Nana!
For more information, visit www.catherinerose-childauthor.com.
About the Illustrator:
Jeff Dale’s foray into artistic design began when his boss at a printing shop asked him to design a logo for a client. While the logo was an impressive design, creating the art had an even more impressive effect on motivating a true passion for creative design.
Educated in the design world of Washington, DC, Jeff’s wide scope of interest and talent has inspired him to design, create, and build just about anything one can conceive of creating, including this debut as an illustrator of a children’s book. Jeff is the founder of Dale Design, situated in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he resides with his wife and two grown children.
His varied talent in artistic design can be appreciated by visiting his website: www.daledesign.com.