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Review of Blue

Blue
by Laura Vaccaro Seeger; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp.
9/18    978-1-62672-006-4    $17.99

Where this inventive author-illustrator explored both the palette and politics of the color green in Green (rev. 3/12), Blue finds her sneaking up on us with a story about loss, even if at first we think we are simply in for a celebration of all shades blue — “baby blue, “berry blue” — tucked into a portrait of the happy life of a boy and his dog. But as we explore blues both objective (“sky blue,” as the boy releases balloons into the air) and personal (“my blue,” where the boy and dog play tug-of-war with a towel), we slowly understand that the boy is growing, and so is the dog…“old blue.” As in Green, small die-cuts lead from each richly textured double-page spread to the next, always surprising, where the canopy of an umbrella becomes the top of a bird feeder, say, an encapsulation of the larger imaginative leaps being made from spread to spread. When was the last time a concept book made you cry?

From the September/October 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

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Comments

  1. From a seven year old who has had to say goodbye to both a dog and two cats, she understood this immediately. “Look, the boy is growing up! That means the dog is getting older, too, like George.” (her dog) And then, “Look, he might get another dog, like we have Captain (her dog now). She wanted to read it again, one test to me that makes a book a treasure. I’m glad you liked Blue, too.

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