The Rainbow's Journey: An Adventure in Asia
This book, The Rainbow's Journey: An Adventure in Asia, is a wonderful book for kids, because you can see the world with this book. The colors, the beauty, the photos - you learn a lot about Asia. More than that, it makes you want to go there, so badly!
The book is by an art teacher, Gena Dawn, and her husband, Brad Kane. He wrote the words, she took the beautiful pictures.
For instance, my favorite color is purple. So the purple section was very very interesting to me. My favorite photo is the purple clouds, because sunsets can be the same all around the world.
The blue section was one of the most beautiful colors in this book. I loved seeing the oceans, and since we live by a lake, it reminded me of home, in a different way.
The words, written in poem form, teach you about the places that the photos show.
It's so interesting to look at all the different things in the photos - it's almost like a hide and seek.
I interviewed author Gena Dawn, about her book. Here's what she had to say...
WE: Please tell us about The Rainbow's Journey...
GD: The Rainbow’s Journey is a children’s book that takes readers on a magical journey through Southeast Asia and India, using rhyming poetry and colorful collages of original photography. Each page explores a different color of the rainbow and a mix of Asian cultures and landscapes.
My husband and I created this book during a year living and traveling in Asia. He’s a writer and I’m a photographer so this book was really the perfect creative collaboration!
WE: What inspired the Rainbow's Journey?
GD: Well, the book was mainly inspired by the amazing colors we saw on our trip! But it wasn’t until about six months into the adventure that I sat down to take stock of my photography and discovered is that I’d unintentionally captured the entire spectrum of color, one hue at a time. Most of my photographs seems to feature one dominant color, and I instantly knew I had the beginnings of a book about a rainbow!
So we sat down and talked about what the project might be. At the time, we were on a month-long Ayurvedic retreat in a very small town in rural India. There wasn’t much to do except read, take walks, and talk. It was the perfect place and time to create a book. We spent a couple afternoons discussing the idea, and then Brad started writing. By the end of that retreat, we had a rough draft of the book!
WE: What were your favorite parts of traveling through SouthEast Asia?
GD: The people I met. Both the people who lived there, and the other travelers. When you’re overseas, you really become part of a global community of travelers. I came out of this trip with some very good friends from all over the world, a much deeper understanding of humanity, and of course my first children’s book.
WE: How did you decide what photos to include?
GD: The first criteria was color: the photo had to be dominantly within a certain color range so that it would contribute to the overall sense of blueness, or greenness, etc. The second was diversity. I wanted this book to be a tool that teachers could use to introduce children to the wonders of Asia, and my goal was to represent the full range of peoples, cultures, and landscapes that I had encountered. And the third was that I chose images that I knew would be appealing to children – a mix of both the familiar (elephants, goats, peacocks) and the exotic (spices, architecture, landscapes) – to keep it engaging and educational.
WE: All the colors are so beautiful - how did you find them?
GD: As an artist and photographer, I’ve always had a special connection with color. When I’m looking out at the world through my camera’s viewfinder, I’m naturally drawn to objects saturated with colors. And in South and Southeast Asia, you’ve never seen so much color!! It was a photographer’s paradise.
WE: What surprised you about Southeast Asia?
GD: Everything! But especially, how something that was at first so surprising and unfamiliar could quickly become commonplace.
Anyone who’s traveled to India, Thailand, or Bali, knows these are places full of contradictions, filled with smells, sounds, and sights unlike anywhere else in the world. What you don’t hear as often is how quickly we acclimatize to it and make it a part of who we are. The intensity opens up a part of us that is usually asleep, and once we get a taste of that, it’s hard to go back. Even now, several years later, there’s a part of me that feels the absence of that part of the world. For while it is not always comfortable to be in a world of contradictions, there is an undeniable beauty in it.
WE: We love this book - and highly recommend it to anyone wanting a visual feast of the world!
Learn more at http://therainbowsjourney.com/
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L Forteau is the Kids Reporter for Wandering Educators
Note: Big thanks to Gena for sharing this wonderful book with us!