A fable-like tale that imagines how color came into the world, Mother Norrie’s Story will encourage young readers to take a closer look at the world around them.
This picture book imagines a world without color. Only one human knows the secrets of color, having learned it from elves and pixies. In return for this knowledge, she fashions beautiful, colorful clothing for them.
One day her dyes bubble over and bring color to the grass, trees, and sky—and to one little bird, whose brilliant feathers cause other animals to come to Mother Norrie and ask for color. She agrees, and goes about painting all of the plants and animals in the world. Near the story’s end, God notices and approves, but asks Mother Norrie to leave a few plants and animals white “to show the goodness of the world”
Mother Norrie’s Story is light on plot, and there is very little problem solving to be done. Instead, the book focuses on a handful of plants and animals and the colors they receive from the title character. A twist or surprise would help the story feel more compelling, as would clever explanations of why she gives, for example, the robin a red breast and buttercups a yellow hue.
Potential buyers should be aware that the story takes an overtly religious turn when God shows up in the final pages, and it’s unclear why white represents goodness in the world, particularly since the entire story revolves around the glory of color.
Overall, Mother Norrie’s Story would be enhanced by a more compelling and surprising plot. Still, it might be a worthwhile pick for adults who want to encourage children to appreciate nature’s beauty and pallet.
Also available as an ebook.