How many shades of blue are there?
There's the soft blue of a baby's cherished blanket, the ocean blue of a romp in the waves, the chilly blue of a cold winter's walk in the snow, and the true blue of the bond that exists between children and animals.
In this simple, sumptuously illustrated companion to Caldecott Honor Book Green, award-winning artist Laura Vaccaro Seeger turns her attention to the ways in which color evokes emotion, and in doing so tells the story of one special and enduring friendship.
Seeger's Green celebrated a single color, and so too does this companion, all the while telling a poignant story. Close-range, canvas-stroked spreads portray the start of a friendship as a golden retriever puppy and a toddler nap on the same blanket ("baby blue"). The young dog and boy romp on the beach ("ocean blue") and sleep together ("midnight blue") as they both grow older, until the boy, now much changed, is seen cuddling his aging dog ("true blue"). When it's time for the two to say goodbye, Seeger shows the young man alone, his head bowed as he sits by the ocean where he and his dog once played ("so blue"). Though things begin to look up in the final spreads, the death is a difficult moment, and readers might find themselves a bit blue. Seeger balances many different picture book elements as she identifies evocative hues for the duo's story, examines common objects such as blueberries and butterflies, and inserts unexpected die-cuts in each page to reveal fragments of the surrounding spreads. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
K-Gr 3--In her companion to Green, Seeger follows the lives of a boy and his dog, Blue. Beginning with the sleeping toddler and his puppy accompanied by the words "baby blue," the pair is shown growing up together and sharing experiences through all seasons and in all weather. Their various activities include blueberry picking, chasing butterflies, taking snowy walks, and frolicking in the ocean. An azure bandana appears on almost every page, sometimes worn by the boy and sometimes by his dog. The pictures and words will appeal to readers' emotions, including delight, contentment, exasperation, and profound sadness when the youth is pictured holding his elderly dog for the last time. Precisely placed die-cuts lead readers to the next page and the next illustration depicting the pair's devotion. Short, rhyming couplets consisting of two words each scan well and are skillfully conveyed by the acrylic paintings on canvas: "quiet blue/silly blue/stormy blue/chilly blue." VERDICT Though there is sorrow, it is followed by joy in this touching tribute to a heartwarming relationship that will engage readers of all ages.--Maryann H. Owen, Oak Creek Public Library WICopyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.