The Queen of Colors

Queen of Colors by Jutta Bauer (NorthSouth, 2014; originally published in Germany, 1998, as Die Königen der Farben.)

I love the work NorthSouth is doing, and this book in particular has stuck with me for a while. Queen of Colors So it’s a funny little book, but it’s also literally little, and there’s a lot of mayhem happening in such a small package. I think that’s smart. Queen of Colors Color’s been on the brain a lot this week because I’m in the thick of teaching an Intro to Photoshop and Graphic Design class to kids. This has been a fun one to show them, because the colors in this book take on such a clear identity. Queen of Colors Blue is soft and gentle. I love how the Queen is giving it a hug and kiss. Queen of Colors Queen of Colors Queen of Colors Red barrels in and nearly knocks her over. It’s wild and dangerous. Queen of Colors And then there’s Yellow. Warm and bright and sunshiny on her toes.

These colors have purpose, but when Matilda can’t control them, the whole mess turns Gray. Queen of Colors Queen of Colors  It’s the same in art. Too many colors competing leaves you a whole lot of buzz and confusion. It doesn’t work.ThisDoesntWork(image source.)

This Gray sticks around for a while. It doesn’t work.  Queen of Colors Queen of Colors But it does make the Queen of Colors sad. Not gentle, not wild, not warm. Not colorful. 

So she cries. You’ll have to see for yourself what her tears do to the gray. Here’s a hint: it’s scribbles and stars and swirls. It’s a happy ending.

Color has a story, and it’s a story that matters.


P.S.—Does Queen Matilda remind you a little bit of Queen Ursula from the Little Mermaid? I think it’s part her bossiness, and part her curves. I’m awful at remembering lines from films, but this is one that has stayed with me a long, long time. I think it’s thanks to the bubbles that shimmy out of her hind parts!





  • Posted July 10, 2014 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    BUBBLES OUT HER HIND PARTS! Totally have to find Queen of Colors now — looks amazing! Love that red horse.

  • Posted July 10, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    There’s a spread at the end you can color on yourself! I also love her boobs, but wasn’t sure how to say that in a classy way. So here it is.

  • Posted July 10, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    How DO you keep finding these books with that “je ne sais quoi” quality? Amazing. Love your recommendations. And I always learn something when I stop by. Thank you.
    Apples with Many Seeds

  • Posted July 10, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Je ne sais pas! (Is that right?!) Thanks for stopping by!

  • Posted July 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    You always find the coolest books to share. Either that or you sure know how to showcase a book!

  • Posted July 10, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Romelle!

  • Posted July 10, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Ach, die liebe Jutta! She IS the queen of color! Wish I was taking that class with the kids too.

  • Posted July 11, 2014 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Спасибо за интересный показ книги! :)

  • Posted July 20, 2014 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    hot dog girl! you find the coolest books! it’s been far too long since I visited and to rectify this dreadful state of affairs, now you’re permanently on my sidebar so I can see all of your updates ~ and thanks so much for following on FB ~ now we can have book parties! hurray!

  • Posted July 25, 2014 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    As an illustrator, color is one of my very favorite things. I an going to have to find this book. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Posted September 2, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I was just searching this book- I have the german version! And your blog came up Carter! hehe 😀

  • Posted September 2, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Ha! I am everywhere.