The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh: Book Review and Activities

Inside: LOTS of book related activities around color, feelings, emotions, change, traditions and culture.

I’m excited to share this wonderful new book with you today. It just made its debut in September.

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh is so sweet and colourful! It’s just a real feel-good kind of book.

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh. This is a detailed book review and includes 3 great follow-up activities with 2 free downloads. Themes include change, emotions, and cultural similarities and differences.

Title: The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh
Author: Supriya Kelkar
Illustrator: Alea Marley
Publishing: Sterling Children’s Books, 2019
Themes: Change, Emotions, Belonging, Friendship
Ages: 4-7

Synopsis (from book flap):

“Harpreet Singh has a different color for every occasion, from pink for dancing to bhangra beats to red for when he needs an extra boost of courage. He especially takes care of his colorful patkas, his turbans, smoothing each one out gently before putting it on. But when Harpreet’s mom finds a new job in a snowy town and the family has to move, he finds himself choosing white over and over–all he wants is to be invisible. Will he ever feel a happy sunny yellow again?”

Opening Lines:

Harpreet Singh loved his colors. Bright, muted, pastel, or neon, he had one for every occasion.

My Thoughts:

First off, I absolutely LOVED the colourful, cheerful illustrations. They’re a bit on the cartoony side (which is a style I like) and were all done digitally.

Secondly, the book deals with 3 important themes: emotions, change, and cultural similarities and differences.

This is a great text for talking about emotions and what’s going on when we feel happy, sad, excited or shy. It’s a simple, yet effective story, where we can clearly see how Harpreet’s emotions are reflected in the patkas he chooses to wear.

In many first grade curricula “change” is an important topic. A BIG change in any six-year-old’s life is moving from one town (or one school) to another. Harpreet does just that and he finds the adjustment difficult, as many people do.

The book is also a low-key, kid-friendly introduction to Sikhism. At the back of the book the author has some information about the Sikh religion: the founder of Sikhism “believed in one God who lives in everyone and everything, and that Sikhs should practice core values like service, justice, and love. The Sikh turban represents a commitment to living these values.”

In a world where we need to learn to be much more tolerant and accepting of others and their differences, this book can help to spark conversation and increase cultural awareness and sensitivity.

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh. This is a detailed book review and includes 3 great follow-up activities with 2 free downloads. Themes include change, emotions, and cultural similarities and differences.

Book-Related Activities:


The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh pairs very well with My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss.

After reading both books, sit your class down in front of some chart paper and brainstorm a variety of emotions. Be patient; it takes a while to move past mad, sad and happy.

When finished, choose several emotions (be sure to have a variety) and list them in a column format.
Be sure to match each emotion with a colour. You could use the examples in either book.

Under each heading, list several circumstances that inspire that feeling or emotion. For example, under “joy” or “happy” the class might suggest birthday parties, playing with my dog, or grandma visiting.

Now for the FUN part: painting a crayon resist

Have each child choose an emotion/colour they’re feeling. If, for example, it’s blue, have them draw their picture using only a variety of blue shades of crayon. When it’s finished have them paint over the entire drawing using a light wash of the same colour.

Here’s a lovely example of the one-colour painting I’m talking about from the blog Layers of Learning. Scroll down a bit on the Layers of Learning post and you’ll see a beautiful green frog, purple cat and blue owl.

At the end of the lesson give each child time to share their painting and the emotions it evokes for them.


After reading the story have the class share important changes in their lives. It could be anything from losing a tooth, to moving, to welcoming a new baby in the family or getting a new pet. Pretty much any change the kids are comfortable sharing is fine.

Then have them complete the sheet below with pictures and a few words.

Grade 1 worksheet on Change

DOWNLOAD: Changes Worksheet


Here’s an easy and meaningful way to explore cultural/traditional differences and similarities between families. This worksheet comes from Renee Dooly and is free on TpT. The holiday tradition could, of course, be anything the child chooses.

I would send the sheet home and have the children do a rough copy with their parents then bring it back to school and do a fancy copy. They’d look great mounted on finger-painted paper. Be sure to have each child share their project with the class:)


This story is also perfect for helping young children with colour identification.

I made up some colour monster games for my little granddaughter and she absolutely LOVED playing them!

Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful October weekend!

PS: If you’re looking for more book reviews I have LOTS


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