This week's Rainbow Book is my all-time favorite book about rainbows (I have several, of course!). It is The Rainbow Goblins by Ul de Rico. Interestingly enough, this rainbow baby had never been introduced to The Rainbow Goblins until my freshman year in high school. I grew up dancing (ballet, tap, jazz, you name it) under the direction of a very talented and incredibly creative teacher. She didn't just choreograph little dances to popular songs and costume us with what was available in dance catalogs. She put together enormous productions, and in addition to her choreography, designed elaborate sets and costumes. Now, I'm not claiming that our little dance studio put on shows to rival Broadway. But for a small studio, with a small budget, in a small town, I think what we did was pretty neat.
My teacher's 4 children grew up with The Rainbow Goblins. It was a classic in their family. And so in 1996 she created a ballet entitled The Rainbow Goblins. Set to the beautiful and stirring music of Edvard Grieg, it followed Ul de Rico's story perfectly. I was cast as the Red Goblin (appropriate, for those of you who know that "Ann(e) Likes Red.") Of course I fell in love with the story, and my mom gifted me with a hardback copy of it that I have since shared with my students and will read to my children. So now, as you imagine me dancing around the stage in a red unitard, a tight, red hood to cover my head (picture a bobsledder), red gloves, and red point shoes, I will share with you the beginning of the story...
"Once there was a land that lived in fear of seven goblins. They were called the Rainbow Goblins and each had his own colour, which was also his name: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. Yellow, being the craftiest, was their chief. The goblins lived on colour--they prowled the valleys and climbed the highest mountains looking for rainbows, and when they found one, they caught it in their lassoes, sucked the colours out of it and filled their bellies with its bright liquid. Only one place in the land had never known goblin-fear--the hidden valley called the Valley of the Rainbow, where the great arches of colour were born. There the animals still lived in paradise. But the Rainbow Goblins had heard tales of this Valley, and their mouths watered whevener they thought of the feast that awaited them there; and so they gathered up their lassoes and their pails and set off..."
What follows is a delightful story of goodness and beauty prevailing over selfishness and greed. The illustrations are oil paintings by the author and are absolutely exquisite. (It's worth reading the book just to see the gorgeous artwork.) So go find this gem and read it! You will love it!