Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh is a great book about colors- one I’ve used in toddler and preschool story times over and over. While the cat is asleep, three curious white mice find three jars of red, yellow and blue paint and discover that mixing colors together make new colors (red + blue =purple, yellow + blue = green, etc).
Here’s an idea for extending the story: take 6 clear plastic cups (I use disposable cups from the Dollar store), red, yellow and blue food coloring, and water. Prepare two cups of red colored water, two cups of yellow colored water, and two cups of blue colored water. Mix the colors together along with the story, or after you read the story once, have your child help re-tell it and mix the colors together. Here’s a flannel story using this book. For related books, check out Mouse Count and Mouse Shapes.
Other favorite books that introduce colors are: Dog’s Colorful Day by Dodd, Monsters Love Colors by Austin, A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni, Color Zoo and Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert, and Duckie’s Rainbow by Frances Barry.