Hailstones and Halibut Bones

What is Yellow?

Yellow is the color of the sun
The feeling of fun
The yolk of an egg
A duck’s bill
A canary bird
And a daffodil.

I remember this book of poetry from my childhood. Written by Mary O’Neill and titled Hailstones and Halibut Bones, it features poems about twelve colors. O’Neill captures the things, smells, sounds and feelings associated with colors. For the red poem she writes, “Red is a hotness you get inside when you’re embarrassed and want to hide.” In her gray poem O’Neill writes, “It’s fog and smog, fine print and lint, it’s the hush and the bubbling of oatmeal mush.” As a child, I would close my eyes and wonder if I would know the color if I had never seen it before. The classic from 1961 was re-published and now can be found more easily. My kids love this book.

One comment

  • Anonymous
    May 7, 2008 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    Introduced to this book in Children’s Literature class at Central Conn in early 60’s. When I taught the kids loved it. Cant’t remember what I did as a reading/art exercise. Sure there was something. That was 40 years ago!! Still remember “Pink is red’s little sister”

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