The Color of the Night A Children's Book Inspired by Paul Gauguin by Helene Kerillis


The Color of the Night A Children's Book Inspired by Paul Gauguin by Helene Kerillis

Set in a Tahitian village very much like the ones Gauguin painted, this beautifully illustrated book draws on the figures in Gauguin's painting, Arearea, or happiness - two women, a red dog, and a large stone idol - to weave a simple but profound tale. Vahine-Noa, queen of daylight, lives for happiness and colour while her sister, Vahine Po, queen of the night, lives for her dreams, darkness, and silence. Bringing these two women together is a young boy, Tevai, and his dog, who undergo a magical experience that unites their village and helps them understand the importance of being true to your feelings. Throughout the story, Vanessa Hie's gorgeous illustrations recall Gauguin's colorful, mystical paintings of the South Seas. The book closes with a stunning reproduction of its inspiration, Gauguin's painting Arearea. Children will be drawn into Hie's intricate paintings as they follow Tevai's story, which, along with a brief introduction to Gauguin and his work, offers a superb look into the life and art of this hugely influential artist.


This colorful picture book encourages young readers to consider stories that works of art can tell. --School Arts Magazine

About the Author

Helene Kerillis is a teacher and writer who has written over forty books for children and young adults, including A Bird in Winter and Little Ballerina (both Prestel). Vanessa Hie is a young designer and illustrator who lives and works in Paris.

More books by this author

Other Formats

Book Info


32 pages


Helene Kerillis
More books by Helene Kerillis


Publication date

23rd July 2012



I love all the books they recommend & put up for me to review. I also love the fact that they give new authors the chance to share their boo

Daisy Pennock – age 15

It gives me a chance to read types of books that I would not normally try, and it motivates me to read every night to finish it!

Alice Horncastle, age 14

At @HHSHaringey we love @lovereading4kids because our pupils can practice reviewing & get free upcoming books before anyone else!

Helen Swinyard – Heartlands High

A great way to introduce kids to great books, authors & genres. Parents can find age-appropriate books to share with their children.

Judi Davies – Aberdare Girls Sch

It’s a community united by a passion for books and promoting the best there is in children’s literature.

Sam Bateman and family

We love Lovereading as my 5 year old loves to read new books before anyone else has a chance, she says it makes reading exciting!

Tracey Chorley

I love finding new books to read. My mummy and me look at the new ones coming out. I have written reviews of some of them!

Jessica Cobbin – age 7

I think Lovereading4kids is an amazing company because of the friendly staff and the fabulous chance to read great books before publication.

Adam Graham

Lovereading 4 schools