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Great Illustrated Books

They Say Blue

Jillian Tamaki

Harry N. Abrams
Pages : 40
Suggested Ages: 5-7
ISBN: 9781419728518

If you are not familiar with the work of Jillian Tamaki, you need to be. The Brooklyn, NY, based illustrator behind Baby Yaga, Gilded Lilies, and Indoor Voices finally breaks off on her own for an imaginative new picture book with art that needs to be seen to be believed.

The Caldecott Printz award winning artist breaks the mold as she explores a child's concept of color. What is color? Why do we term different things in our life different colors and does every color need to be seen to be comprehended? If you think these sound like difficult questions to ponder in a children's book, you're not wrong. I must say though, I find this a strength in Tamaki's case, not a weakness. though an adult can ponder and appreciate the larger concepts of color, art, and vision at play in this picture book, a child can still enjoy its beautiful imagery, vibrant illustrations, and playful creatures that inhabit the world of our young protagonist.

Tamaki is a uniquely talented artist who can capture the joy of children at play, or the energy of a rolling ocean. Every page of this picture book is alive with inspiration, and I highly encourage this picture book for parents who want to read with their children. This beautiful, thoughtful book is perfect for a thoughtful or inquisitive child. It's equally important as a conversation starter with your young child, allowing you to hear their insights on the world around them, and ultimately share some of your own. 

Reviewed by : Lawrence N. Caldwell

Themes : Imagination, color, critical thinking

If you love this book, then try:

Mix It Up by Herve Tullet
Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
Door by Jihyeon Lee

Critics have said

"Thinking, imagining, noticing - these, Tamaki suggests, are the tools we have to understand our world." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Attuned to a child's psychology and patterns of critical thinking, this visually stunning work is a must-purchase for libraries." - School Library Journal