CurriConnects Book List - Light and Color


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Light and Color
Enjoy these books of photographs and about photography in conjunction with art classes and in science as you learn about light and the spectrum. The list includes nonfiction about light and how it works. The interest levels are predominantly elementary and middle school but include selections for more able readers. Have students choose a book they can connect to your light unit in science, to art projects, or simply a book of interest. Extend the experience by having them collect their own photographs as examples of the concepts they learn. Share projects using one of these reviewed presentation tools from the TeachersFirst Edge. The non-fiction selections offer possible informational texts to practice Common Core science literacy skills. For more on text complexity and Lexiles®, see this information from the Lexile Framework.

Preschool and Picture Books

Monsters Love New Colors - Mike Austin, (978-0062125941), Fiction
Interest level: K-2
Monsters create new colors with their crayons by coloring on top of their first drawings.

White Rabbit's Color Book - Alan Baker, (978-0753452547), Non-fiction
Interest level: K-2, Lexile: 190
A rabbit jumps into pots of paint of various colors, changing his coat as he goes.

The Color Kittens - Margaret Wise Brown, (978-0307021410), Non-fiction
Interest level: K-2
Although a group of kittens is trying to find how to make green paint from other colors, they end up with anything but their target color!

Hello, Red Fox - Eric Carle, (978-0689844317), Fiction
Interest level: K-2, Lexile: 570
Little Frog's birthday party is a chance for his animal friends to show their coats of many colors.

Babar's Book of Color - Laurent de Brunhoff, (978-1419703393), Fiction
Interest level: K-2
Some of the characters in the Babar books learn about color mixing in Babar's art studio.

Color Zoo - Lois Ehlert, (978-0397322596), Fiction
Interest level: K-2
Readers learn to manipulate shapes of different colors to make animal faces of different hues.

Look Book - Tana Hoban, (978-0688149710), Fiction
Interest level: K-2
Readers look at photographs first through a cut-out hole and then without the cut-out to see differences in perspective and identification.

Little Blue and Little Yellow - Leo Lionni, (978-0688132859), Non-fiction
Interest level: K-2, Lexile: 210
A blue circle and a yellow circle play until they become friends; they become a green circle when they get close.

Elmer's Colors - David McKee, (978-0688137625), Fiction
Interest level: K-2, Lexile: 500
Elmer romps about the jungle in his coat of many colors, not caring that he is very different from the other animals.

Growing Colors - Bruce McMillan, (978-0688131128), Fiction
Interest level: K-2
This book of colorful photographs shows the variety of the vivid hues of fruits and vegetables.

Lemons Are Not Red - Laura Vaccaro Seeger, (978-1596431959), Non-fiction
Interest level: K-1
Readers interact with the pages as they flip a colored sheet over an object to create the object in a new color.

The House in the Night - Susan Marie Swanson, (618-862447), Fiction
Interest level: K-2, Lexile: 60
A young girl discovers the effects of light on a house at night.

Mouse Paint - Ellen Stoll Walsh, (978-0152001186), Non-fiction
Interest level: K-2, Lexile: 250
Mice open jars of paint and explore the possibilities of color.

Early Elementary Books

Zoom - Istvan Banyai, (978-0140557749), Non-fiction
Interest level: K-2
Images in this books pages vary as the camera lens moves back and forth and makes them smaller and larger.

So Many Butterflies! - Lara Bergen, (978-1416990802), Fiction
Interest level: K-2
Dora makes a game of trying to find butterflies of as many colors as possible when she is out taking photographs with her friend Boots.

Otto's Orange Day - Frank Cammuso, (978-0979923821), Fiction
Interest level: K-3, Lexile: 230
Although Otto's wish that everything be orange comes true, he realizes the world is a little lopsided without other colors.

One Red Dot - David Carter, (978-0689877698), Fiction
Interest level: K-12
Readers must find the one red dot on each page of this book

Exploring Light and Color - Heidi Dworkin, (978-0071348218), Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-5
An eager student asks questions about science; the answers provide the structure to this book.

Andy Warhol's Colors - Susan Rubin Goldman, (978-0811857215), Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-4
This simple book shows colorful pages with meaningful words that, together, communicate feelings and ideas about art.

What's That Shadow?: A Photo Riddle Book - Christopher Harbo, (978-1429639200), Fiction
Interest level: 1-4
Enjoy the riddles in this book that are somehow associated with light.

Shadows and Reflections - Tana Hoban , (978-0688070892), Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-3
The pairs of photographs on the pages of this book lead readers (and lookers!) on a myriad of delight as they turn the pages to enjoy the various compositions.

Purplicious - Victoria Kann, (978-0061244056), Fiction
Interest level: K-2, Lexile: 500
A young girl maintains her love of pink, even though her friends make fun of her.

Snowflake Bentley - Jacqueline Briggs Martin, (978-0547248295), Fiction
Interest level: K-3
Wilson Bentley photographed as many snowflakes as he could and learned that no two were exactly the same; his discovery lives in the heart of every snow-loving child.

Purple, Green and Yellow - Robert Munsch, (978-1554511136), Fiction
Interest level: K-3, Lexile: 650
Brigid loves markers so much that she decorates herself with markers that are hard to wash off.

Aloha-Ha-Ha! - Barbara Park, (978-0375834042), Fiction
Interest level: K-2
Junie B. Jones' photo journal of her Hawaiian vacation turns out just a little differently than what her teacher had in mind.

Pictures from Our Vacation - Lynne Rae Perkins, (978-0060850975), Fiction
Interest level: K-5, Lexile: 650
A young girl enjoys recording and seeing her pictures of a great family vacation after she receives a small camera as a gift.

Color Chaos - Lynn Rowe Reed, (978-0823422579), Fiction
Interest level: K-3, Lexile: 580
A visiting artist brings color back to Hughes Elementary School where the principal has banned all colors!

Light: Shadows, Mirrors and Rainbows - Natalie Rosinsky, (978-1404803329), Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-4
This book shows light's effects on phenomena in our everyday lives.

All About Light - Lisa Trumbauer, (978-0516258423), Non-fiction
Interest level: 1-3
This book explains the fundamental concepts of light and color and lights' relationship to energy.

Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Photo by Brady - Jennifer Armstrong, (978-0689857850), Non-fiction
Interest level: 3-9, Lexile: 1200
This story of Matthew Brady and his troupe of Civil War photography tells itself as readers page through the amazing pictures of the wonder and horror of this conflict.

The Seer of Shadows - Avi, (978-0060000172), Fiction
Interest level: 3-8
Horace's dismissal of ghosts as nonsense begins to change when he notices the presence of something supernatural in his professional photographs.

Science Projects for Young People - George Barr, (978-0486252353), Non-fiction
Interest level: 3-8
This book describes an array of projects for science fairs including those that test principles of light and color.

The Nighttime Cabin Thief: A Mystery about Light - Lynda Beauregard, (978-0761385431), Fiction
Interest level: 3-6
Summer campers begin to suspect each other of theft until they devise experiments involving light to capture the robber.

The Kids' Guide to Digital Photography - Jenni Bidner, (978-1402780394), Non-fiction
Interest level: 4-9
This easy guide to digital photography includes planning, editing and sharing tips as well as a helpful glossary.

Tell No One - Dotti Enderle, (978-1602706927), Fiction
Interest level: 4-8
Malcolm and a buddy use a digital camera to help with their ghost hunting, and even the digital camera seems able to record the paranormal!

I Wanna Take Me a Picture - Wendy Ewald, (978-0807031414), Non-fiction
Interest level: 3-12
Teachers and parents will enjoy using this simple informative book about photography with their budding photographers.

The Weird Club: The Search for the Jersey Devil - Randy Fairbanks, (978-1402742286), Fiction
Interest level: 3-7
Mark's "Weird Club"" helps him find out why there was a strange mass of light in a photograph he took."

Photojojo! - Amit Gupta, (978-0307451422), Non-fiction
Interest level: 3-10
Readers learn to use their favorite photographs to create a variety of projects.

The Spirit Catchers - Kathleen Kudlinski, (978-0823004089), Fiction
Interest level: 6-9
This fictionalized account of a young person's encounter with painter Georgia O'Keeffe teaches readers about the importance of light on photography, planning of pictures, photographic subjects, and the SouthWestern desert.

The Dark Machine - Peter Lancett, (978-1616510275), Fiction
Interest level: 3-7
The Dark Man fights the Shadow Masters during his search for the Golden Cup and the triumph of good in this graphic novel for reluctant readers.

Now You See Me? - Jane Mason, (978-0545215138), Fiction
Interest level: 3-8
Lena and Abby are surprised to find things in their Polaroid pictures that were not there when they shot the photos; what can this mean?

Picture This - Norah McClintock, (978-1554691388), Fiction
Interest level: 3-6, Lexile: 610
Ethan's prize possession, his camera, attracts unwanted attention as he tries to put his life together after being placed in a foster home.

Benjamin Franklinstein Meets Thomas Deadison - Matthew McElligott, (978-0399254819), Fiction
Interest level: 3-7
The new Infinity light bulbs are giving off more than Edison intended all over Philadelphia in this madcap adventure featuring two great inventors.

Midnight for Charlie Bone - Jenny Nimmo, (978-0439474290), Fiction
Interest level: 4-6, Lexile: 760
Charlie Bone's odd ability to hear people talking in photographs and to know about other thoughts that took place at the time of their capture helps him solve a boarding school mystery.

Light and Color - Peter Riley, (978-0531153710), Non-fiction
Interest level: 2-6
This easy-to-understand book explains the science behind light and color.

Phantom of Blood Alley - Paul Stewart, (978-0385737005), Fiction
Interest level: 3-8
The side effects of a photograph developing solution provide clues to why things keep disappearing in this mystery that takes place in Victorian London.

Northern Exposures - Eric Walters, (978-1554551071), Fiction
Interest level: 3-9
Kevin's great chance to escape his parents' thumbs means he is trekking across Manitoba during the polar bear migration, shadowing a famous wildlife photographer.

Middle School to Young Adult Books

One Shot - Susan Glick, (978-0805068443), Fiction
Interest level: 9-12
Lorrie battles with her relationship with her camera as she pursues the activities of an older teen, but she comes to terms with her identity as a photographer.

Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter - James Gurney, (978-0740797712), Non-fiction
Interest level: 6-12
This how-to book explains how to balance color and light in real works of art as well as understand their effects on painting.

A Short Bright Flash: Augustin Fresnel and the Birth of the Modern Lighthouse - Theresa Levitt, (978-0393068795), Non-fiction
Interest level: 7-12
Augustin Fresnel revolutionized the power of lighthouse lenses through his unique engineering approach to their design, and both the French and British quickly adapted his invention.

Rain is Not My Indian Name - Cynthia Leitich Smith, (978-0688173975), Fiction
Interest level: 5-10
Cassidy works as a photographer for a local newspaper, but when she sets out to photgraph the campers, she cannot decide if she wants to continue since both she and the campers are Native Americans.

Snap - Carol Snow, (614-52114), Fiction
Interest level: 9-12
Madison finds herself far from her beloved high school, but she continues to pursue her passion: photography; she begins to notice people in her pictures that were not there when she took them, dead people.

Razzle - Ellen Wittlinger, (978-0689856006), Fiction
Interest level: 8-12
Ken becomes involved with an eccentric and with his photographic hobby after he reluctantly moves with his parents to Cape Cod.