Wednesday 29 August 2018

Colourful Memories

Colourful Memories by Catherine Bauer, illustrated by Kathleen O’Hagan (Wombat Books) PB RRP $16.99  ISBN 9781925563429

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

Colourful Memories is a beautiful picture book that highlights the life of a gentleman who migrated from Germany to Australia after World War II. Moments from his past were captured on film and are now revealed to his young grand-daughter, Charlie, in the black and white photographs they’ve found in an old box.

Charlie questions her opa about the lack of colour in his pictures. This prompts him to recall some of the colour in those past moments, revealing both good and bad memories. Snapshots of a happy childhood and loving family are remembered with fondness and warmth, and glimpses of poverty and war are described in a soft and tasteful way. The superb pencil illustrations complement the story well, displaying the colour Opa remembers. Throughout the story Charlie has questions and comments about Opa’s photos. Later Opa encourages Charlie to visualise colourful memories of her own.

Written in the third person, Colourful Memories is a lovely story embracing both the past and the present. It reminds people, young and old, that while photographs are great reminders of moments in time, colourful memories are made every day. These memories are kept inside you and can be shared with loved ones whenever you choose. This book is suitable for children aged 5+, especially those who are starting to ask questions about their parents and grandparents’ younger days. Colourful Memories would also be a great addition to the primary classroom and used as a conversation starter about war and immigration. 

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