The Color Kittens

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The Color Kittens
Color Kittens.jpg
First edition
Author Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator Alice and Martin Provensen
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's literature
Publisher Little Golden Books
Publication date
Media type Print
Pages 24
ISBN 0-307-10234-3
OCLC 42383466
[E] 21
LC Class PZ7.B8163 Cm 2000

The Color Kittens is a children's book by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen published as part of the Little Golden Books series in 1949.


The story revolves around two kittens, "Hush" and "Brush," who attempt to create green paint through mixing their other paints. Their attempts lead to a variety of different hues—none of them green. The book's famous catch phrase is "Blue is blue, and red is red! They still need green!"


Children's book author and illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky, for whom the book was a childhood favorite and inspiration, said that, "In a way, the book was written to teach facts about color, but its real subject is the huge pleasure to be found in the seeing and feeling of color [...]".[1] Suzanne Rahn notes that Hush and Brush’s active creativity and exploration have some parallels among Brown’s other cat characters, such as the drastically less-humanized Pussycat, who are much more passive in their representation of the creative state Brown called “Cat Life”.[2]


  1. ^ Zelinsky, Paul O. (2005). The Art of Reading. Compiled by Reading is Fundamental. Dutton Books. p. 62. ISBN 0-525-47484-6. 
  2. ^ Rahn, Suzanne. "Cat-Quest: A Symbolic Animal in Margaret Wise Brown". Children’s Literature: Volume 22, 1994 (Copyright 1994 Hollins College). Project MUSE. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 

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