My Blue Is Happy

Jessica Young, illus. by Catia Chien. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5125-1
Blue is sad and red means angry, right? Not for a thoughtful girl who sees colors less conventionally than those around her. “Yellow is cheery.... Like the summer sun,” the girl’s mother tells her as they stand on opposite sides of a golden field. “But my yellow is worried,” the girl reflects. “Like a wilting flower/ And a butterfly caught in a net.” While the girl’s father sees brown as “ordinary/ Like a plain paper bag,” it’s “special” for the girl; Chien (The Longest Night) paints her squeezing chocolate syrup all over her chocolate ice cream, eyes closed in delight. As debut author Young takes readers through nine colors, she gently introduces the idea of opposites and invites children to consider the different feelings colors can evoke. Working in acrylic, Chien easily keeps up with the story’s shifting moods, showing how a gray rainstorm can be simultaneously cold (in the murky outdoors) and warm, as the girl curls up inside with her grandmother on a cozy armchair. Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/10/2013
Release date: 08/06/2013
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