The Iridescence of Birds is a quick, thoughtful read. It is written as a series of questions guiding listeners and their readers to feel Henri Matisse’s world. As a back-of-the-book bonus, author and illustrator provide descriptions of their processes in creating this gem. Read the bonus paragraphs when you want to extend the story; skip them when it’s time to get little people in bed.
‘Iridescence’ is a rare word in conversation and picture books. The simplicity of this book gives kids a chance to absorb the meaning without other vocabulary challenges. Parents can capitalize on this new word by finding, pointing out, and using ‘iridescence’ to describe a sink full of soap bubbles or a parking lot puddle of oil….”like Matisse’s birds”. Or, more deliberately, pull out all the iridescent crayons, and draw an iridescent picture. Soon your kids will be pointing out ‘iridescence’ to you.