Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2023 #Potluck – Growing Bookworms – The importance of colour when illustrating children’s books #childrensfiction #readingcommunity by Robbie Cheadle

Welcome to the new series of Posts from Your Archives 2023 where I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2022 I have selected from the archives of willing participants. If you wish to be included the information is at the the end of the post.

In this first post from Robbie Cheadle’s archives I have selected one from  Writing to be Read hosted by Kaye Lynne Booth as part of the Growing Bookworms series sharing strategies to encourage children to read more.

Growing Bookworms – The importance of colour when illustrating children’s books by Robbie Cheadle

Many children’s picture books make use of brightly coloured cartoon style illustrations. Children are attracted to bright colors such as red, yellow, green, blue, and pink. These colors create a sense of energy and playfulness and also emanate happiness. Colour impacts on children’s moods, behaviour, and educational performance.

Part of the reason children prefer bright colours is because saturated colours are easier for young, developing eyes to see. Bright colors and contrasting colors stand out more in a child’s field of vision than feinter shades.

Colour effects the way the brain functions and can be used by illustrators to encourage pattern recognition, memory, and the ability of young readers to absorb new information.

Here are a few examples of colours and how they can be used for learning:

RED – a powerful and attention-grabbing colour, red stimulates alertness and excitement. It encourages creativity and can also increase appetite.

BLUE – provides a sense of comfort by exuding calmness, loyalty, peace, serenity, and security.

YELLOW – encourages positive feelings and improves concentration by promoting creativity, clarity, and optimism.

GREEN – symbolises nature and the natural world. Green relieves stress and provides a sense of healing. It also represents balance, growth, tranquillity, cleanliness and calmness.

ORANGE – like red, orange is an energetic colour that promotes alertness. Orange creates a sense of passion, warmth, excitement and encourages communication.

PINK – symbolises love, romance, nurture, warmth, calmness, and imagination.

It is also important for illustrators, or writers engaging an illustrator, to note that colours can also overstimulate children, instead of inspiring them, so a balance of bright and neutral colours is required for illustrations.

I illustrate my own children’s books and I try to apply these principles in my own work. This is a collage of a selection of my fondant and cake art illustrations.

My illustrations have proved popular with children so I think I am getting the colour coding right.

These are some examples of famous children’s books and illustrators:

The Cat in the Hat by [Dr. Seuss]

Amazon US

Amazon US

Amazon US

What do you think? Do you like bright colours? Have you written a children’s book and illustrated it yourself or engaged an illustrator?

Let me know in the comments. 

©Robbie Cheadle 2022

My thanks to Robbie for letting me share her posts from her archives and I know she would love to hear from you.

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with eleven children’s books and two poetry books.

The eight Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie and Michael have also written Haunted Halloween Holiday, a delightful fantasy story for children aged 5 to 9. Count Sugular and his family hire a caravan to attend a Halloween party at the Haunted House in Ghost Valley. This story is beautifully illustrated with Robbie’s fondant and cake art creations.

Robbie has also published two books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has two adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories, in the horror and paranormal genre, and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie Cheadle contributes two monthly posts to, namely, Growing Bookworms, a series providing advice to caregivers on how to encourage children to read and write, and Treasuring Poetry, a series aimed at introducing poetry lovers to new poets and poetry books.

In addition, Roberta Eaton Cheadle contributes one monthly post to called Dark Origins: African Myths and Legends which shares information about the cultures, myths and legends of the indigenous people of southern Africa.

A selection of  books  by Robbie and Michael Cheadle and as Roberta Eaton Cheadle

One of the reviews for The Christmas Bird

The Christmas Bird, a middle grade story by Robbie Cheadle, tells the story of a South African family in financial difficulty who are willing to make sacrifices for one another’s happiness, as well for the care of a baby bird they rescue on Christmas Day. The story is told from the point of view of Stella, the eldest of four girls.

As an adult, I enjoyed the story because it was not the usual Christmas fare. In fact, The Christmas Bird, is not, strictly speaking, a Christmas story, as it takes place between Christmas and April. Instead, it begins with the ideals of selflessness and compassion associated with Christmas and does not abandon these ideals once the presents have been opened and the celebratory meal eaten.

The triggering event for the story happens on Christmas Day, when the family’s two undernourished dogs find a hoopoe’s nest and kill all but one chick. The girls’ mother calls the dogs off, and Stella rescues the chick. What was particularly striking to me in this scene was that the mother doesn’t subsequently punish the dogs for following their canine instincts. Similarly, when the rescued bird proves to have a particularly unpleasant bodily function, the mother takes it in stride and explains to the girls that it is a natural defense mechanism.

The story is narrated with vivid, specific details so that children can easily visualize the events as they unfold, including how to care for an orphaned or abandoned baby bird. I was impressed by the girls’ researching each stage of the chick’s development to ensure they were caring for it appropriately, with the end goal that the bird could survive in the wild.

As the hoopoe develops, the girls grow more attached to it, while the bird grows less dependent on them. The story then reaches a natural and satisfying conclusion. I think middle grade readers will enjoy the story and derive valuable lessons from it. I also think the story is appropriate for adults to read to younger children. If my experience is any indication, adults will appreciate the story as well!

Read the reviews and Buy the books :Amazon US And: Amazon UK – Follow Robbie : Goodreads – blog: Robbie’s Inspiration- Twitter: @bakeandwrite

How to feature in the series?

  • All I need you to do is give me permission to dive in to your archives and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord. (
  • Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random of general interest across a number of subjects from the second six months of 2022. (it is helpful if you have a link to your archives in your sidebar by month)
  • As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
  • If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.
  • As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
  • Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.
  • Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.
  • Each post is reformatted for my blog and I don’t cut and paste, this means it might look different from your own post especially if you are using the block editor
  • If I do share a post which contains mainly photographs I will share up to five and link back to the original post for people to view the rest.

N.B – To get the maximum benefit from your archive posts, the only thing I ask is that you respond to comments individually and share on your own social media.. thank you.


98 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2023 #Potluck – Growing Bookworms – The importance of colour when illustrating children’s books #childrensfiction #readingcommunity by Robbie Cheadle

  1. I found a lovely independent bookshop recently and we were discussing the importance of colour in children’s picture books.
    The Cat in the hat is not colour illustrations inside but the lively illustrations are the appeal here. In fact I read the ‘Cat in the Hat’ recently and am writing his reaction in our reading blog.
    You can tell a personality by colour choice too.
    Thank you for sharing this Sally.
    A good review of Robbie’s book.

    I’m pleased with my illustrator her detail is always commented on but I don’t do it myself

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That’s funny… I’ve just come back from the library with two books suitable for seven-year-olds, as my current WIP is for kids a year younger than with Messenger Misadventures. They will definitely need more illustrations than just chapter ones! And I was starting to think about colour as well.
    Thanks for the advice, Robbie!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I definitely believe bright colors are more engaging for children and for me too! Thanks for spotlighting Robbie today, Sally. I always love to see her colorful fondant and cake art. It makes me smile.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I was wondering as I read if Richard Scarry would make the colorful list–and sure enough, there he is! My brother and I loved Busy, Busy World when we were little. I do believe I recognize that review.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is a great post. The importance of reading to and with kids can not be overstated and colors are a huge part of the experience. I love Robbie’s explanation of the meanings of different colors.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2023 #Potluck – Growing Bookworms – The importance of colour when illustrating chil dren’s books #childrensfiction #readingcommunity by Robbie Cheadle – Patty's Worlds

  7. Robbie has a new Sir Chocolate book for Valentine’s Day: Sir Chocolate and the Valentine Toffee Cupid (Sir Chocolate holidays and high days books). I really enjoyed this post. Bravo Robbie, and Sally for the great find!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. That was a fun post from Robbie. I enjoyed the detail about how different colors represent and influence different moods. Kids are definitely attracted to color… so am I. 😀 Great share, Sally, and congrats on the beautiful review for The Christmas Bird, Robbie. It’s a lovely read. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This was such a wonderful post from Robbie and love the way she focused on colors and how they affect or create different moods. She offered helfpul tips for fostering reading in children! Thanks for sharing, Sally, and congrats to Robbie!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. An engaging cover and bright colors are the most attractive elements for young readers when choosing a book. I witnessed this hundreds of times per year.

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  12. Colour is always important, but, as Robbie says, it is even more important in children’s books, and her illustrations are wonderful and delightfully sweet examples. Thanks, Sally and Robbie.

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