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In a Blue Room Hardcover – April 1, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreS—This dreamy bedtime book doesn't have a single unnecessary word. Alice bounces on her bed, wide awake and making demands. She will only sleep in a room in which everything is blue. Mama brings in flowers, a cup of tea, and an extra quilt. Each time, the child queries the not-blueness, but Mama whispers "Smell." "Taste." "Touch." And when the light finally clicks off, the moonlight streams in, and in its light, everything is blue, and Alice is…fast asleep. Tusa's illustrations, done in ink, watercolor, and gouache, show a child progressing from Pippi Longstocking-like energy, through acceptance, drowsiness, and finally sleep. Their soft colors and simple lines are perfectly suited to the simplicity of the language. This lovely book works well as a one-on-one bedtime read, but it would also be the perfect final selection for a pajama storytime.—Marian Drabkin, formerly at Richmond Public Library, CA
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“In a blue room, / Alice bounces, / wide-awake past bedtime.” And Alice is firm in her desire to sleep only in a room that’s blue, so when Mama brings in violets and lilywhites, Alice protests—until she sniffs them. And even though the tea is orange, a sip makes her drowsy, and the green quilt is comfy and warm. It’s not until the lights are off and moonlight bathes everything in blue that Alice gets her wish. Debut author Averbeck provides a spare, charming text for the talented Tusa to work her artistic magic. The ink, watercolor, and gouache artwork keeps its eye on Alice while incorporating whimsy and suffusing the pictures with love. There’s just one problem: Alice’s room is not blue—it’s yellow—and although this may be artistic irony, literal little ones will note the discrepancy. The night spreads are so comforting, though, young listeners will be soon nestling under covers. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ilene Cooper
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"In a Blue Room" shows a slice-of-life story of a mother and daughter doing normal, mother-and-daughter things. There is nothing to do with gender roles here, just a sweet story of a bedtime routine. This book is certainly in high rotation at my house and should be a model for other children's writers & illustrators. I want to see more female characters doing everyday, normal things!
Tricia's art is gorgeous. Every new spread brings a fresh perspective and shows Alice longing more and more for her bedroom to be blue.
The end of this story brings a twist that made my heart leap. It is beautiful, magical, and intensely satisfying. I recommend this book to any kid or grown-up who wants their nighttime ritual to be just so.