Coloring Our World: Look What We Can Do Together is the brainchild of Alberta Adams. Intended as an activity and coloring book to inspire very young children and their caregivers with a sense of equality, justice and the pure joy of play, the book was originally published in 1990 with grant support from AETNA Life & Casualty.
Coloring is truly one of the great joys of childhood. Transforming black and white line art into vibrant, multi-color masterpieces is standard fare for kids. Adams has taken that ageless activity and attempted to create an activity book that also includes information about the goals of Head Start. Those include educating families about early childhood development, healthy living and multi-cultural learning and appreciation. Adams has also included inspirational quotes from notables such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Shirley MacLaine and Helen Hayes. The black and white illustrations — more complex than typical coloring book images — come in various styles and looks, from stick figure drawings to cartoon-like sketches.
Adams’ goals are worthy, laudable and wise. Unfortunately, they are not always served well by her choice of format. Young children may well be happier with simpler images and much larger pages to color; the very small pages and smaller images may prove frustrating for the tiniest of hands. The information included about Head Start (hopefully updated since 1990) and intended for parents and caregivers, is extremely important but gets lost in the coloring book format and the tiny font sizes.
Even so, when Coloring Our World is placed in the hands of young children along with a collection of multi-color crayons, the kids will probably have a fine old time.