Posted in Early Reader, Non-Fiction

Colors of the Wind – “The wind is like a rainbow.”

Layout 1Colors of the Wind: The Story of Blind Artist and Champion Runner, George Mendoza, by J.L. Powers (Sept. 2014, Purple House Press), $18.95, ISBN: 978-1930900738

Recommended for ages 7+

Colors of the Wind is one of those inspiring books that will take your breath away. Written for young readers and excellent for read-alouds in the classroom and the home, Colors of the Wind tells the story of George Mendoza, Olympic runner and painter.

As a child, George was always in motion. He was that kid that never stayed still; he wanted to be a basketball player when he got older. But his vision began to deteriorate, and he saw bursts of color. Suffering from a rare form of blindness called fundus flavimaculatus, his central vision has been destroyed, but he retains peripheral vision, which he refers to as “kaleidoscope eyes” because of the way objects reflect and are multiplied in his vision.

To take his mind off his blindness, George started running and ended up competing in two Olympics. He later began painting, remembering a priest who told him to paint what he saw. He uses fingerpaints, brushes – anything that will communicate to others the unique and beautiful way George sees the world.

This book is gorgeous. Illustrated with Mr. Mendoza’s paintings, this is a truly inspiring story of a man who literally changed his point of view. The text is enhanced with drawings by Hayley Morgan-Sanders. JL Powers presents Mr. Mendoza’s story with short sentences that are perfect for allowing young listeners to grasp the concepts presented and allows for deeper discussion on overcoming challenges and celebrating what gifts we have to work with.

The book includes a short biography on George Mendoza, and a list of paintings featured in the book. Two of my favorites are featured below: Purple Moon and Blind Man Touching the Sun.

purple_moon    blindmantouching

Colors of the Wind is available in stores now – ask your local bookstore, or order from Amazon!


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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