Study Guide

A Mango-Shaped Space Art and Culture

By Wendy Mass

Art and Culture

When we say Kandinsky or Mozart, we're betting synesthesia doesn't come to mind. But when it comes to seeing vibrant colors, these are some of the artists that help Mia really come alive. In A Mango-Shaped Space, Mia experiences a different world when she turns on music and paints. Cue the shapes and bold colors flying through the air. And Mia feels so good in these moments that part of why she wants to keep her synesthesia around is so she can keep painting the way she does. It's her way of escaping the mundane world of homework and math tests and experiencing vibrancy and joy. Hello, color.

Questions About Art and Culture

  1. What makes art in the book? Is it only what's found in museums, or is it something else, too?
  2. Mia tells us that colors belong to her when she paints. What do you think she means by that? How is this different from other times she sees colors?
  3. Why do you think Mia enjoys painting so much? What about it excites her?
  4. How is painting related to her synesthesia? Why can she only paint with music on? Why can't she paint when she loses her colors?

Chew on This

Good artists should be able to paint or draw inspiration from anywhere in the world without relying on synesthesia or music for skill.

Mia's artistic skills don't come from her synesthesia. Instead she uses it to enhance her natural talent.