Cover of Color Me a Rhyme by Jane Yolen and Jason Stemple

Color Me a Rhyme

I was helping Jason sort and file his slides at his house in Colorado one visit, and realized what astonishing shots he had of single colors in nature–yellow flowers, brown wrinkled sand, punky pink thistles, etc. It gave me the idea for a book of color poems based on his photos. But of course, once we decided to do the book, he had to shoot a great deal more. And then, of course, I had all these poems to write. (What a pleasure, actually!) The book was to end with a poem about a rainbow, and I realized I had already written one for a Lee Bennett Hopkins book of poems on school supplies. As an added attraction, I have added other words for each color, so a young reader could make up his or her own poems. COLOR ME A RHYME was one of School Library Journal’s Best Books 2000. There is a wonderful poster available from Boyds Mills Press. It features four poems and four photos from the book and a list of activities on the back.

A 16×22″ Poster (ISBN 1-56397-929-2) of Color Me a Rhyme is available from:

Boyds Mills Press, 815 Church Street, Honesdale, Pennsylvania 18431.

Toll free telephone 877 512-8366.

Web Site:

Reverse side has activities for use with book. Click on the poster to see a larger image of it (76 K bytes).

Color Me a Rhyme Poster

What reviewers have said:

  • “There’s a lot of good stuff going on in this imaginatively conceived and elegantly executed collection. On one page of each double-page spread is a poem (in one case two haiku) evoking a color in nature. . .opposite is a photograph by freelance photographer Jason Stemple … set like a cabuchon jewel on a pale background of related images and words. … The book is a visual feast and a verbal one, too, for the poems are striking …” — Booklist starred review
  • “Thirteen poems, each a study of a different color found in nature, accompanied by gorgeous photographs, beautifully reproduced and artfully presented … The central image for each poem is crystal clear, often set against background photo or montage that fades into mist with an elusive quality. There’s a playful yet elegant mood in the way the words and pictures merge on many of the pages. This is a visual delight, allowing both author and photographer to share their obvious love for the world’s natural beauty.” — School Library Journal
  • “This lovely little book of poems is all about the colors of the rainbow. … Beautiful vibrant nature photographs accompany the text.” — Parent Council Reviews
  • “Good photos and good poems combine to make this book a primer for personal creativity. With fresh visions of nature, and sophisticated poetry, this book is designed to inspire future writers. Each poem is dedicated to a single color with one or more color photographs accompanying the text. Scattered around each page are synonyms for that color that the reader is encouraged to use in her/his own poetry. For the color red, there are two nature haiku’s, a photo of a red butterfly and another photo of red berries on a branch, a literary quotation about the color red, and words in the margins in different fonts such as “brick, henna, crimson, rouge, scarlet, vermilion, ruby, cherry, and cerise.” The photos are impressive because they seem to isolate one color in particular, and the poems are impressive because they do not rhyme. This book could easily be used to jump-start a creative writing project in third grade through seventh grade.” — Children’s Literature
  • “Yolen has done an excellent job of creating poetry of all sorts, from a few spare and simple lines to some more complex poems, and she has included both rhyming and non-rhyming poems as well as several haiku. Language-arts teachers will welcome this book, as writing poems about colors is a common assignment in fourth through eighth grades, and in an author’s note, Yolen encourages young people to try writing their own color poems using the color word lists and photographs…A multicolored gem for the poetry shelves in most school and public libraries.” — Kirkus
  • “The collaborators offer readers a visual and verbal feast in 13 poems evoking a color in nature. The lyrical poems and brilliant graphics demonstrate inventive simplicity in a book that begs to be perused slowly and read aloud.” — Boston Sunday Globe
  • “Jason Stemple’s keen eye isolates eleven colors in nature, layering crisp and focused images over soft and beautifully diffused backgrounds. Jane Yolen, Stemple’s mother, adds the words: rhymes, free verse, haiku, brief quotes from Mother Goose and other poets. Images and words evoke the senses: “I want to take a bite out of that sunset sky, letting the orange juices run down my chin.”Color words, such as “blue, turquoise, cerulean, sapphire, azure, sky,” in large font become design elements and words to borrow for children’s own poetry. Teachers who have long used Mary O’Neill’s Hailstones and Halibut Bones as models for color poems will welcome this fourth book of nature poems by Jane Yolen and her son.” — Whole Language Teachers Association Newsletter
  • “Eleven colors are beautifully examined and illustrated in these pages. Each color is superimposed on a double-spread photographic background, and enhanced by quotes, photographs, and poems.” — Childhood Education
  • “Each color reveals itself in nature through striking photographs that tell of the beauty in our environment …. Yolen’s book will provide inspiration for young readers and writers as they search for the colors in their world…A relaxing and beautiful book, this is one to add to a classroom collection.” — Iowa Reading Journal
  • “Color Me a Rhyme not only encourages thoughtful words, but it aids in looking at nature’s bounty in a whole new way.” — American Profile

Available in Boyds Mills hardcover.