ROYGBIV Isn't Just about Looking Pretty

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Right now, the Kindle, the Sony Reader (take your pick of which one), and the nook do not have color screens.  Although the nook boasts a small color touch screen for choosing book titles, none of them can show color displays within the books.  As a future elementary teacher, this makes me wonder about how eBooks will translate into the classroom.  Color is a primary aspect of children’s books, especially picture books.  In fact, the pictures sometimes tell the story more than the words do, which is a problem when the eBook readers only provide grayscale displays.


To test out the difference, I downloaded the Kindle viewer for the PC.  It was great because I could sample various texts without buying them, just as one would in a store.  However, I immediately noticed that the Curious George book I had chosen was only in black and white.  If anyone is familiar with these books, they know that, although these books are not filled with color, certain colors such as red and yellow are emphasized.  For instance, Curious George’s owner, The Man in the Yellow Hat, has a yellow hat in the books.  When I read this book on the Kindle viewer for the PC, the hat is a darkish sort of gray.  I tried other books, and it is true that the PC Kindle viewer allows for color viewing, but it seems that some of the formatters did not transfter the color that is found in the books to the files, as in the case of the Curious George book at which I looked.  Still, the devices themselves do not offer color viewing--yet. 


When pictures are such a major part of the story as they are for children’s books, it is important that the pictures are accurate, or meaning will be lost.  It would almost be like leaving out words or making certain ones unreadable, which would not be accepted by typical consumers of Amazon’s, Sony’s, and Barnes and Noble’s products.  I know these devices were made mainly for people who read novels, but they need to be significantly altered to encourage their use in other fields like education.


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