Why Colour? Why B&W?

The Man with the Violin illustrations

Ever wonder why only some of the people in The Man with the Violin (now available in paperback) are in colour? Nan Forler, a writer-friend who happens to also be a Kindergarten teacher, wrote me recently and passed along some of her students’ thoughts on the subject. She didn’t pose the question herself, but once one of the kids wondered about it, they all got talking. . .

“I think they are like that because they are statues and the ones in colour are people.”

“I think the person who did the picture stopped colouring because he got a little bit tired.”

“I think some of them are coloured and some of them are not because the girl or the boy who made the pictures, his markers dried up so he just did the rest with pencil.”

“No, the ones with no colour don’t talk and the ones with the colour are the ones that talk.”

“A witch came along and got her turned into a statue.” Giggling. “That’s weird.”

And about Joshua Bell on the last page (of biographical info) —

“When he got very older, he turned into a picture.”

So, Dušan Petricic, were you tired? Did your markers dry up? Or what were you thinking?


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Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson


  1. janlcoates on May 19, 2016 at 6:20 am

    Funny – those kids are really thinking! How's Georgia?

    • Kathy Stinson on June 29, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Aren’t the kids great?
      Georgia’s doing very well. She even pulled a book off the shelf a couple of weeks ago, but we haven’t got round to starting her reading lessons just yet.

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