Mrs Rainbow by Neil Griffiths

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Mrs Rainbow by Neil Griffiths

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A fun, colourful story about a lady called Mrs Rainbow who brings a little rainbow joy into everyone's lives.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 36 Date: September 2011
Publisher: Red Robin Books
ISBN: 978-1905434930

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Mrs Rainbow lives in Rainbow cottage, an amazing brightly coloured country cottage. On the inside every room is a different colour, whilst Mrs Rainbow herself wears colourful outfits and dyes her hair amazing shades from beautiful blonde through to peacock green! One day, however, she receives a visit from the local planning councillors and is told she must paint her house to match the rest of the village...grey!

I enjoyed this story. We get to look around Mrs Rainbow's house, seeing all the different colours which include not just straightforward reds and greens but also the more unusual violet and indigo. We see Mrs Rainbow pottering around her village, colourful and cheerful wherever she goes. Of course, after her house is painted grey she becomes reclusive and sad, her hair going grey along with her clothes too. When the villagers see what's happened they all meet together and decide to paint all the rest of the village in vibrant colours which makes the planning councillors return and this time demand Mrs Rainbow's house be repainted to match the rest of the village again, this time with beautiful colours!

I wondered if the concept of local council bureaucracy would be too hard for my little girl to follow, but she seemed to understand what was going on and she particularly liked the ending where everyone has a party and one of the councillors, previously dressed entirely in grey and black, turns up with a rainbow coloured waistcoat on!

The story is told in a gentle, engaging way. It seems very intimate, wandering around Mrs Rainbow's house, seeing her in the garden, dyeing her hair, painting and sewing. I liked the way the villagers meet together to help Mrs Rainbow and beat those grey old men from the council! But what really makes the book come alive are the wonderful pictures. They are, of course, very colourful, but they're also very detailed with lots to look at on each page. There are little snails peeking around, a mouse in the kitchen, a baby bird being fed a worm by its Mummy, and Mrs Rainbow's cat who I especially liked in the picture of her dyeing her hair since he has a blob of hair dye that's landed on his head too!

Mrs Rainbow is probably best for older pre-school children or those just starting school since it's a little bit longer than some picture books. It's a lovely story, and stands up to re-reading very well. There is also lovely CD with the book too which has the story narrated by the author as well as some interesting information about the story, perfect if you need to get the dinner on but someone has asked for Mrs Rainbow 'just one more time'!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

Further reading suggestion: For another lovely story by the same author try Fatou, Fetch the Water.

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Buy Mrs Rainbow by Neil Griffiths at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mrs Rainbow by Neil Griffiths at


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