In Chapter 3 of The Giver, Jonas has unthinkingly picked up an apple from the snack basket and thrown it to his friend Asher in the recreation yard, who casually tosses it back to Jonas. However, on one toss, Jonas notices something odd about the apple: it changes. Bewildered, Jonas sneaks the apple home to re-examine it privately, but notices no change.
It is not until Chapter 12 when Jonas is under the tutelage of the Giver that he has a similar experience as he takes the memory of sledding on snow.
This time the sled had and continued to have, as he blinked, and stared at it again--that mysterious quality that the apple had had so briefly. And Fiona's hair....
The Giver explains to Jonas that he is beginning to see the color RED.
It is interesting that Jonas as the receiver of memories has the same light-colored eyes as the Giver, a distinction that marks him as different from the others early on; likewise, little baby Gabriel has light eyes and Jonas is later able to transfer memories such as color to him.
The first color Jonas see is red since he was throwing it around with Asher.