Powers, J.L. 2014. Colors of the Wind: The Story of Blind Artist and Champion Runner George Mendoza. Cynthiana, KY: Purple House Press.
As a child, George Mendoza began seeing brilliantly-colored lights, shapes and squiggles, eventually losing most of his sight except his peripheral vision and the ever-present colors. Unable to play basketball or other do other things he wanted, George took up running. He excelled in the sport and competed twice in the Olympics for the Disabled. In the back of his mind, however, he’d kept a long-ago word advice from his youth.
One day, a flyer arrived in the mail,
advertising a contest for blind artists.
George remembered the priest, who told him,
“You should paint what you see.”
George started to paint,
just like the priest told him to do.
And so began the painting career of George Mendoza.
The text appears in a plain, small font on white pages, accompanied by simple blank ink drawings, often highlighted with colors from Mendoza’s paintings. Each facing page contains a full-bleed image of one of Mendoza’s paintings.
Biographical information, photos of Mr. Mendoza, and painting titles are included in the book’s back matter.
The joyful, riotous colors of Mendoza’s paintings will certainly appeal to children, as will his story of perseverance and purpose. Enjoy!
My copy of the book was provided by the author.
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