Poetry Box review: Laura Shallcrass’s What Colour is the Sky

What Colour is the Sky? Laura Shallcrass, Beatnik Publishing, 2021

I am a big fan of Laura Shallcrass books and a big fan of the sky. I sit at my kitchen table daydreaming as I gaze out the wide open doors to the wide open sky. It makes me feel good to sky gaze just as it makes me feel good to read a new picture book by Laura.

Pīhoihoi wonders what colour the sky is. Pīhoihoi has a sky puzzle to solve. How would you answer the question?

Pīhoihoi asks Hedgehog but that just makes it even more confusing. So they decide to go on a big QUEST to solve the mystery. They ask snail and they ask mouse and they ask frog. And on the quest goes. A seed of an idea starts to grow in Pīhoihoi’s head and it grows into a GENIUS answer!

I love the simplicity of the story and how musing and questing is such a good thing, especially about something tricky. I love the tremendously BEAUTIFUL illustrations. Works of art! I love the learning notes at the end that tell you more about why animals see things differently. Fascinating.

This book is sublime SKY treasure! Beatnik Publishing have put their usual love and care into the making of the book and produced something special.


Laura Shallcrass works from her home in the hills near Queenstown, where she lives with her husband and children, along with an ever-growing zoo of furry friends. So far these include three horses: Giddy, who is enormous but kind, Taffy the pony, and Cash, who is overexcited and likes to party, Kota, the Labrador, and Frida, the whippet.

Laura’s first book, Hare & Ruru, won the Russell Clark Award for Best Illustrated Book at the 2021 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

Beatnik Publishing page

Laura Shallcrass webpage

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