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Elisabeth and the Box of Colours

Elisabeth loves to paint, just like her papa. She spends hours making her own pictures of everything she sees - and the more colourful, the better!

But when she goes away to school, she finds herself in a world of grey: grey buildings, grey uniforms, grey rooms. She misses Papa and all the colours of home. And one winter morning, she gets some terrible news that makes her days darker than ever before. Will Elisabeth be able to find the colour and joy in her life again?


A touching tale about friendship, family and finding joy in the darkest of times. Inspired by the childhood of French portrait artist Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun.

'Woodfine's beautifully handled tale of finding life and colour amidst the darkest of times is a moving, uplifting read' - Waterstones

'A small, elegant triumph' - The Times, Children's Book of the Week

'Beautifully told in spare, resonant words… A transporting little tale' - The Guardian

'Absolutely gorgeous. Pure, wondrous joy ... What an inspiring gem of a book' - author Liz Hyder

A 'modern-day Madeline... offering hope and encouragment' - The Times, Ten Brilliant New Children's Books to Enjoy on World Book Day

Draw a portrait

Inspired by Elisabeth and the Box of Colours, draw a portrait of your own

Historical inspiration

Find out more about the real artist Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun

Dressing up

Tips and ideas for dressing up as Elisabeth for World Book Day

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