“I invite purple irises to be my guests for tea. Yellow pollen peeks at me,” Little Maya says.
The imaginative young narrator lives in the Mojave Desert, where the wind and sand can make life seem monochromatic. With the companionship of an amusing bird and her parents, she goes out seeking color for her world.
This is the first book both written and illustrated by Gonzalez, whose previous work includes the illustration of nearly a dozen books, including three Pura Belpré Honor Books. Gonzalez’s writing technique of showing and telling includes bilingual text at the bottom of each page, with the words denoting a color appearing in that hue.
Gonzalez has created kid-friendly, yet sophisticated compositions. On the first page, when the desert wind blows, the houses, the little girl, and even the bird seem to move. But on the next page, Little Maya and the bird are wide-eyed and still against a tan background. As her pursuit continues, she finds, for example, green cactus and observes an orange sunset. The colors are vibrant, but not garish, and children are encouraged to look closely.
Children who live in the desert will be delighted to see their world so wonderfully illustrated; the author’s note confirms that the narrator is based on Gonzalez herself. For children of other climates, My Colors, My World will insight curiosity about other places, and they will want to seek out the colors in their own surroundings.