Parents' Guide to

They Say Blue

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Dreamy, visually stunning meditation on colors and seasons.

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This moving meditation on color, seasons, and more of life's wonders opens with seagulls and closes with crows, and the art itself soars. They Say Blue is constructed of childlike questions and sensory observations that ring true to age and encourage kids to be mindful and open their eyes to the world around them. It takes a fantastical turn when the girl raises her arms like branches, and becomes a tree that passes through spring, summer, fall, and winter.

The text and art work together beautifully to evoke mood, as at the end when the girl's mother parts her hair "every morning, like opening a window," and sunshine yellow streams in past the midnight blues. Most pages feature the girl, but one vibrant spread shows school kids of many races playing together on a playground, and includes one girl who uses metal forearm crutches. The front end papers are sunny yellow, and the back ones are moody blue, and Tamaki's expressive splashes of color convey real emotion throughout.

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