What happens when a grouchy giant decides to scoop all colour out of the world – from the trees and flowers, from the birds and animals, the fish and the waters? Read this fairytale-like story, set amidst magnificent mountains, leafy forests, swirling seas and skies, to find out.


  • The Colour Thief tells the story of an irritable giant who despises all things colourful. While on a rampage to steal and hide all the colours he sees around him, the giant is cornered and told off by some children, and begins to have second thoughts about his life of anti-colour crime.
  • This picture book is primarily brought to life by its quirky and striking illustrations. Sandhya Prabhat’s art is engaging and lively, and ensures that the young reader spends plenty of time poring over each page. Some pages are particularly evocative, such as the all-grey illustration of the giant weeping.
  • The storyline, however, is rather predictable. While it can sometimes be reassuring to read stories with gentle and familiar plots, this one bears too close a resemblance to How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr. Seuss’ well-loved tale of a grouchy anti-Christmas monster.
  • The giant’s transition from grumpy to warm-hearted takes place suddenly, over just two lines. This is somewhat unconvincing, and gives the sense that his change of heart was engineered to allow the writers to tell the second half of the story.
  • Some aspects of the book design also pose problems. A couple of double-spreads are cluttered with too many lines, colours, and shapes that it is difficult to focus on specific parts of the picture. On some pages, the text is printed on colourful backgrounds instead of white, making it hard to read.


The Colour Thief is a pretty book, but a more original story would have made it a lot more colourful.


Author: Stephen Aitken and Sylvia Sundar
Illustrator: Sandhya Prabhat
Language: English
Page Extent: 32 pages
Price: Rs. 225.00
ISBN: 978-9350469897
Publisher: Tulika, 2018
Subject Category: Fiction/Picture Book/Fantasy/Colour
Age-group: 5+

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