My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood



Boy cites the colors of his moods in poetic slice of life.

What parents need to know

Educational value

This is a good introduction to the poetic form of free verse, and could be a great jumping off point for talking about moods. It also shows how satisfying it can be to name and try to describe your feelings, even put a color to them.

Positive messages

My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood sends a subtle message that it's OK to have different moods (everybody does), and it's cool for boys to open up about their feelings. It's also clear that even in a family where siblings get into little skirmishes during the day, the family dinner -- and even post-dinner clean-up! -- is an opportunity for all minor slights to be forgotten, and for parents and siblings to share time together in a loving, peaceful way.

Positive role models

Jamie is good at identifying his moods and doing what he needs to do to feel better. He obeys the family rules (coming home on time, controlling his anger), is helpful (draws for his little sister, washes dishes), and is good at being self-entertained (listening to music, playing basketball). He's respectful toward his parents, who are also good role models: They set boundaries for their kids, and are present, kind, and loving.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood is a wonderful picture book in which a young boy, Jamie, goes though a day identifying his changing moods by color (easy green, racing red, "not backing down" brown, etc.). In inventive free verse, where lines sometimes rhyme, he shows readers what it's like to live his family with two older brothers who sometimes tease and frustrate him, a younger sister who looks up to him, and two loving parents who set boundaries for him and gather the family together for a relaxing, enjoyable dinner at the end of the day. The expressive, stylized illustrations are by Shane W. Evans, who won the Coretta Scott Kind Illustrator Award for Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom.

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What's the story?

Young Jamie, an active boy in a family with two brothers, a sister, and both parents, goes though a day of changing moods he associates with colors. He goes from a purple kind of mood, happily listening to music on the couch, until his older brothers kick him off to play video games and he heads to \"a gray kind of place.\" When they tease him he gets \"So mad my/ mood turns black.\" But on the basketball court, \"Swish! and swish!/ Sweet orange mood/ That's what I'm in.\"

Is it any good?


In refreshingly inventive free verse, sprinkled with some rhyming lines, MY COLD PLUM LEMON PIE BLUESY MOOD does what the best poetry does: expresses feelings with nuance and metaphors. Going through his day, Jamie encounters typical moments of exuberance, calm, anger, frustration, and sibling squabbles, capped off my a warm family dinner. This book could be a great jumping off point for talking about moods -- and it sends a subtle message that it's OK to have different moods (everybody does), and it's cool for boys to open up about their feelings.

The expressive, stylized illustrations by Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award-winning artist Shane W. Evans (Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom) capture every mood shift and give Jamie, his world, and his common family struggles universal appeal.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about moods. How many different ones might you have in a day?

  • This story is told in free verse which is a kind of poetry that doesn't have to follow rhyming rules. Do you like it as much as a story that sticks to a rhyming pattern?

  • What colors would you match to your moods? Draw a picture of three different moods with different colored crayons or markers.

Book details

Author:Tameka Fryer Brown
Illustrator:Shane W. Evans
Genre:Picture Book
Topics:Sports and martial arts, Brothers and sisters, Great boy role models
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Viking Juvenile
Publication date:March 7, 2013
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:4 - 8
Read alone:6 - 8
Available on:Hardback, Kindle

This review of My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood was written by

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  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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