Vanishing Colors

By Constance Ørbeck-Nilssen & Akin Duzakin

A haunting, poignant story about refugees. As a young girl and her mother take shelter for the night in their war-torn city, the whole world appears muted and dark. When the girl wakes in the middle of the night to find a bird watching her, she knows it’s the one from her mother’s stories, who flies down from the mountains to protect people from harm. She tells the bird what her life used to be like, before the war and destruction—she describes her favorite dress, the open market stalls, her dad playing music on the roof. As she continues to remember, colors slowly seep back into her life, and with them comes the courage to hope for a new beginning.

This evocative story is a wonderful conversation starter about an important and timely topic.

Constance Orbeck-Nilssen has been writing children’s books since 2004. Her previous titles include “Why Am I Here?” and “I’m Right Here”, and her books have been published in fifteen countries. She lives in Norway.

Akin Duzakin is a Turkish-Norwegian illustrator and children’s author. He was nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2007 and 2008. He has collaborated with Constance Orbeck-Nilssen on several books, including “Why Am I Here?” and “I’m Right Here”. Akin lives in Norway.


“A heart-penetrating, heartbreaking book with exceptional mastery in text and illustration.”- Kirkus (STARRED Review).

“This is an honest, moving book for these times of dislocation, migration, and uncertainty.”- Horn Book.

“The power of this story rests in the synergy between text and image. From the darkness of her reality, the girl extracts the peach blush of dawn, the scarlet of a favorite dress, and the purple of a lilac tree.”- Booklist.