What Color Is a Kiss?
Rocio Bonilla, author & illustrator
Rocio Bonilla was born in Barcelona, Spain, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Barcelona. She has worked as a designer, painter, and teacher, and now spends most of her time illustrating books and painting children's murals. As a mother of three, she is continually fascinated by the unique and extraordinary universes that children create, as well as their enormous willingness and generosity to share them with others. Her website is www.rociobonilla.com
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A little girl who knows her mind when it comes to what she likes is stymied when she ponders the color of a kiss. Monica likes riding her bike, strawberry cake, and her mother's stories, but what she loves is painting. She's painted all sorts of things in all kinds of colors, but she's never painted a kiss. What color is a kiss? Subsequent double-page spreads consider the colors in turn: red, green, yellow, brown, white, pink, blue, and black/gray. But there are good and bad things in each color: spaghetti-sauce red is the color of anger and people don't give kisses when angry, and while her favorite cakes are pink, Monica does not like princesses or fairies (the black-haired white girl is dressed all in black and white). In the end, Monica asks an expert: her mother. The wordless response fills the final spread with rainbow-patterned and -colored hearts. But while sweet, this answer may leave concrete-thinking readers without closure. In each of the color-dedicated spreads, almost everything is pictured in the featured hue, sometimes even Monica herself. Bonilla's choices are all over the map: Monica doesn't like vegetables, most of which are green (she covers her mouth as if about to throw up in one picture), and the brown spread features chocolate, fall leaves, and dog poop. Likely to be a kiss for artists-in-training but a miss for others.
In a riotous celebration of color and emotion, Monica, a charming young artist who likes strawberry cake and black sheep, contemplates the best way to paint a smooch, in Rocio Bonilla’s What Color is a Kiss? A bit eccentric and a bunch funny, Monica’s ruminations will delight as she explores each color’s suitability, in an effort to express with a paintbrush the warm feelings evoked when kissing or being kissed by a loved one.
School Library Journal
This story follows Monica, a budding artist who tries to answer the titular question. She considers all the colors in her paint box and all the things and feelings associated with each, deciding afterward that a kiss couldn’t be any of those colors. Unable to find the answer herself, she asks her mom. Mom answers by giving a kiss, and a rainbow of hearts fill the pages. The illustrations are mostly drawn, but they also incorporate mixed media and other styles of art. Similar titles with plenty of color and emotions include Molly Bang’s When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry and Dr. Seuss’s My Many Colored Days. VERDICT A sweet, vibrant story that will be best enjoyed one-on-one or as a small group read-aloud and art activity.
ISBN: 978-1-60734-985-3 EPUB
ISBN: 978-1-60734-986-0 PDF
Page count: 32
11 x 8 1/2