Lisa Tiffen (text) and Matt Ottley (illustrator), The Colour of Music, MidnightSun Publishing, June 2021, 32 pp., RRP $29.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781925227871
An interesting approach to listening to music by an author and illustrator who are both musicians who experience synaesthesia which they define as ‘a merging of the senses. People with synaesthesia may see colours when they hear, smell or taste something.’
Lying on a timber floor, young Molly feels the music vibrate through her fingers, then with her eyes closed she sees various colours as the music changes tempo and amplitude. These range from seeing blue and white waves as a gentle tinkling sound plays, to seeing bright red daggers when loud sharp music plays. The full-page illustrations are impressive but some, such as the giant heavy triads trudging through brown sludge, and the endless grey of the weeping, wailing broken chords, have a nightmarish quality that may be off-putting to young children. With adult guidance, however, the book provides an introduction to this fascinating subject. Recommended for ages 3-6 years.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Douglas