Sunday, April 11, 2021

Review: If Dominican Were a Color by Sili Recio


by Sili Recio
Illustrated by Brianna McCarthy
Denene Millner Books
Picture Book
32 pages 
ages 4 to 8

The colors of Hispaniola burst into life in this striking, evocative debut picture book that celebrates the joy of being Dominican.

If Dominican were a color, it would be the sunset in the sky, blazing red and burning bright.
If Dominican were a color, it’d be the roar of the ocean in the deep of the night,
With the moon beaming down rays of sheer delight.

The palette of the Dominican Republic is exuberant and unlimited. Maiz comes up amarillo, the blue-black of dreams washes over sandy shores, and people’s skin can be the shade of cinnamon in cocoa or of mahogany. This exuberantly colorful, softly rhyming picture book is a gentle reminder that a nation’s hues are as wide as nature itself.

GOODREADS   /    KOBO    /    BOOK DEPOSITORY    /    B&N    /     AMAZON


With simple text, the vibrant life of Dominican Republic unfolds in a celebration of colors.

Colors are bright and bold, and portray the country as exactly that. Each page illustrates the joy not only of the nature found in Dominican Republic but of the people as well. Each page introduces the young reader to something, which can be found in the country. These are simple things from trees to drums. While the words are, for the most part, very easy for listeners to understand, the author also weaves in an occasional new term from the language. This allows the listener to get a taste for the words and learn something new without ever becoming too unfamiliar or difficult.

The illustrations are a rainbow treat and present everything with energy and positivity. Small glimpses of the landscape, people, customs and culture are presented, just a few at a time. It opens up the culture and people wonderfully and in a simple, enjoyable way.

And here they are...

The Author...
Sili Recio has been calling herself a writer since she won a trophy in a poetry contest in the sixth grade. She is an Afro-Dominican storyteller, disruptor, and Mami. Sili earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rollins College. She entered the world of social media via her blog in 2010, and has never looked back. Sili lives in Florida with her daughter, the Frog Princess, and tries not to pass on her love of café con leche to her child. She is failing. You can visit her at

The Illustrator...
Brianna McCarthy is a mixed media visual communicator working and living in Trinidad and Tobago. She is a self-taught artist and aims to create a new discourse examining issues of beauty, stereotypes, and representation as well as the documenting...

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