Mamta Nainy, ill. Jo Loring-Fisher. Newbury: Lantana Publishing, hb. 978 1 9137 4783 1, 2022, £11.99, 32pp.
Picture book, 3-5 years
In Rainbow Hands, a young boy likes to spend his long summer days painting his nails with his mum’s nail polish.
He finds the colours express his every mood and feeling. His father doesn’t want him to paint his nails, but his grandfather loves and accepts this, saying he’ll sparkle in his own way.
Rainbow Hands is a colourful celebration of self-expression and the magic of finding your true self. Each word that names the colour (from ‘swirling blue’ to ‘mossy green’) is vibrantly coloured to match the soft illustrations of the boy’s family and the sweeping natural landscapes that fill the pages. Despite the slight disapproval from the father, the book has a cheerful and celebratory tone as it shows the boy’s love for colours and painting nails.
Children will get lost in the breathtaking illustrations and be encouraged to pursue activities that bring joy and help them figure out who they are, despite gender stereotypes.
Review by Mariya Khan