Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire

By Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville
Junior Nonfiction

Have you ever been on the ride “It’s a Small World” at Disneyland? If you have, you’ll remember the music, the magical boat ride, and all the incredible dolls of every culture around the world. But have you ever noticed the colors? And have you ever wondered who was behind all that incredible artistry? In the children’s biography “Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire,” you will find out exactly who the woman was behind the colors and how the Small World ride came to be. Plus, you’ll get to delve into all sorts of wonderful pictures bursting with extraordinary color!

Before I go into the story of Mary Blair, can I first just say how much I love picture book biographies? They are extremely fun and engaging! I love how they give a small, tasty snippet of someone’s life that I can stomach in one sitting. That being said, I feel like I don’t know everything about Mary Blair, but I feel like I know a little, and that’s enough for me.

The story starts at the very beginning with Mary as a small child, already collecting all the colors around her. Mary then goes to art school where she meets the love of her life. Afterwards, she works for the Walt Disney art studio and begins her art career.

The book focuses a great deal on the fact that Mary was a creative dreamer who was ahead of her time. While everyone else was concerned about rules and realistic color palettes, Mary dreamt up colorful designs and more abstract ideas. She truly was an innovative spirit who made a mark on the world, and the book highlights this very well. 

“Pocket Full of Colors” is a vibrant book with beautiful pictures and easy-to-read text. After reading it, you’ll be very pleased to have been introduced to the mind behind “It’s a Small World,” and to have gotten a small glimpse into a world filled with color.

Book Review by Elizabeth Dodds, Children’s Assistant Librarian, Circulation Assistant