Colors of Awesome!: 24 Bold Women Who Inspired the World

by Eva Chen (Author) Derek Desierto (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

From Kamala Harris' white pantsuit to Judy Garland's ruby slippers to Mamie Johnson's blue baseball uniform, powerful and inspiring women from throughout history have proved that awesome comes in all colors!

A Is for Awesome provided an ABC of amazing women from throughout history. 3 2 1 Awesome counted down some of their most amazing accomplishments. Now with their third concept board book original, Colors of Awesome!, the New York Times-bestselling dynamic duo Eva Chen and Derek Desierto pairs groundbreaking feminist icons with all the colors of the rainbow and beyond. With Desierto's bold and vibrant art, Eva fans and readers of all ages will be transported through history in style.

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School Library Journal

K-Gr 4--This color-themed picture book showcases the accomplishments of 24 iconic women via short descriptions of their lives, quotes, and lavish cartoon illustrations. The activists, scientists, artists, and entertainers highlighted in the text are grouped by the colors they have worn in their most recognizable moments. In these lively groupings, Sandra Day O'Connor keeps company with Cher, Alice Walker with Selena, and Mae Jemison with Carol Burnett. Chen describes the feelings evoked by a particular hue and what that color can represent, summarizes important moments in the lives of the women, and includes a direct quote from each of them featured in a speech bubble. Desierto's vivid and highly engaging illustrations appear to combine cartoon-style computer graphics of each woman with close range photos of fabric to create their clothing, and human hair to create their looks, resulting in a unique and inviting collage of media. As the title suggests, the subjects are united by their courageous spirits but have little else in common. Although all the women depicted are unquestionably famous, their bravery ranges greatly in practice, from the truly profound, such as Ruby Bridges's role in school integration, to the less exalted, such as Judy Garland's accolades for The Wizard of Oz. If read as a sampling of interesting stories rather than an almanac of bold women, this picture book will dutifully pique the interest of young readers and can serve as an invitation for exploring more about the lives of the thought leaders and changemakers featured here. VERDICT As an eclectic gathering of headliners, sure to inspire further research, this is recommended for picture book collections and collective biography shelves.--Lauren Younger

Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Praise for I Am Golden:

[A] richly metaphoric celebration of Chinese American identity ... Luminous, gently textured digital art by Diao includes thoughtful, recognizably Chinese cues that add further dimension ... A loving, affecting tribute to how children of immigrants can serve as bridges and torchbearers for their communities. —Publishers Weekly, starred review

From the outset, this gorgeous picture book exudes joy and celebration of identity. Through dazzling illustrations, Diao brings to exuberant life best-selling Chinese American author Chen's message of finding love and power in one's differences. ... This powerful and uplifting story captures [Chinese] American joy and is a definite must-read. —Booklist, starred review

Perfectly matched text and illustration ... Every gorgeous spread in Chen and Diao's co-creation maintains this exceptional and precise text and art symbiosis. ... Chen and Diao weave the inherent value of the child throughout, aiming to encourage Asian American children to claim, 'I am golden.' —Shelf Awareness

An uplifting story that seeks to teach Asian American children about self-love and validation. —People

Praise for Colors of Awesome!:

Vivid and highly engaging ... will dutifully pique the interest of young readers and can serve as an invitation for exploring more about the lives of the thought leaders and changemakers featured here. ... Recommended for picture book collections and collective biography shelves. —School Library Journal

Praise for Roxy the Last Unisaurus Rex:

Eva Chen has really hit the mark with her Juno Valentine series, but is branching out into children's literature in a huge way with Roxy the Last Unisaurus Rex...It's not often you can find a children's book that pleases both the child and the parent reading it 800 times, but ROXY feels like a good fit. And any picture book that makes me want to wallpaper my house with its pages is more than OK by me. —Romper

Praise for 3 2 1 Awesome!:

Counting down from 20, this charming board book profiles strong contemporary and historical women ... The choices are solid and represent a diverse range of women and professions. —Booklist

Praise for A Is for Awesome!:

A Publishers Weekly Bestseller!

That theme of swinging for the fences and going for it is the undercurrent in this book. Even though it's about how they're all awesome, the real undercurrent is, 'Look at all these people who are superheroes who are just like you.' I try to tell that to my daughter. —Hasan Minhaj, in Huffpost

Praise for Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes:

A New York Times Bestseller!

Featured in Oprah Magazine's Holiday Gift Guide
Recommended by Rachael Ray as the perfect holiday gift
Featured in InStyle's Holiday Gift Guide

"[A] fresh take on a fairy tale." —

"Those who are 3, 13, or 30 can all enjoy the book." —

Not only does this book pay homage to some of history's greatest women, it also gives them snaps for their fashion sense. —Romper

Kids need more books like this. —HelloGiggles

[This book is] not going to drop without a bang. —Refinery29

[A] charming story. —MyDomaine

"Chen proves that the accessory can actually provide an important teachable moment for young kids." —WhoWhatWear

Eva Chen

Eva Chen, the author of Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes and A Is for Awesome, is a first-generation Chinese-American who grew up in New York City. She blames her deviation from pre-med at Johns Hopkins University on a love of fashion and beauty instilled in her by her mother, whose perfect bob and lipstick made a permanent imprint on her impressionable young mind. Previously the editor in chief of Lucky, Eva has also written for ELLE, Vogue, Teen Vogue, Vogue China, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. She is currently the head of fashion partnerships at Instagram, where she is guilty of the occasional duck-face selfie. Eva lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Derek Desierto is a Vancouver-based illustrator, designer, and overall nice guy from a nice family. His animation work has been recognized by the Ottawa International Animation Festival, the National Cartoonist Society, and 9 Story Media Group. Currently, he is living the dream as a freelance artist for animated TV shows and picture books. His ultimate goal in life is to meet Oprah and become one of her Favorite Things.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Feiwel & Friends
Publication date
February 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JNF007120 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Women
JNF023000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Girls & Women
JNF013020 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Concepts | Colors
Library of Congress categories
Board books

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