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The Colour of Music by Lisa Tiffen, illustrated by Matt Ottley

Title: The Colour of Music

Author: Lisa Tiffen, illustrated by Matt Ottley

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: MidnightSun Publishing

Published: June 2021

Format: Hardback

Pages: 32

Price: $29.99

Synopsis: Molly can see the music. Colours flash brilliantly as she listens. The music takes her on a journey into places filled with colour, revealing connections between music, emotions, and the world we live in.

The Colour of Music mixes art, music and the written word in a truly synesthetic experience.


Most people just hear sounds, music and voices. We can identify tones and something of a person’s personality, yet those with synaesthesia like Molly see different songs and musical sounds as colours, these colours reflect the songs, the emotions and the world around Molly. As Molly lies on the floor, she lets the colours of the music swirl around her and envelop her in a sensory experience that visually illustrates what it is like to have synaesthesia.

This is one of those delightful books that can entertain, educate, and allow neurodiverse people to be seen all at the same time. Molly is allowed to be who she is, and we experience the realities of her world in a gorgeous and vibrant way.

Not only does this book allow neurodivergent people to see themselves represented, but it is one of those books that can be used to begin discussions about neurodivergence, disability and other differences in life with children of all ages, as this makes it accessible, and the images can be used to explain how Molly sees certain colours when she is listening to music. The focus is on synaesthesia yet can help to open up discussions about other differences within everyone, and that these differences aren’t bad, they just make the person who they are.

Lisa has also included a note about synaesthesia at the back and both the author – Lisa, and Matt, the illustrator – have included their experiences with synaesthesia to help readers understand what it is. This is a book that can be used in an educational setting or at home and will become a beloved book as it explores the relationship between our senses and the different ways these relationships manifest in different people.

This was a delightful book, and thank you to the publisher for asking me to review it.

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