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Little Blue and Little Yellow Paperback – August 24, 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
I can't describe why or how, but the book just connected with me. Fast-forward over 25 years later and here I am, a graphic designer, and I still am inspired by this book. I'm also a teacher and usually mention this book during my class, as it pertains to graphic design and the mixture of colors. Every time I tell the story, the class enjoys it immensely. And I teach adults mind you :)
We all are familiar with Leo Lionni's work, even if we don't initially think we are. Whether you've seen his cut out mice or forest scenes, his is a recognizable style. In this particular book Lionni has relied on roughly hewn pieces of brightly colored paper (or is it fabric?) to tell a story. The tale follows two blobs of color. On is Blue. The other is Yellow. Yellow and Blue are good friends and lead productive blobby lives with their other little friends. They play games, attend school, etc. One day Blue looses Yellow for a little while and when they are reunited they hug until they meld into a single splotch of green. The single green splotch, however, looks nothing like Blue or Yellow. Whatever will our intrepid heroes do?
Suffice to say, all turns out well in the end. The status quo is maintained, peace reigns, yadda yadda yadda. So what's the moral of the story? Just to help you figure it out, the last two pages of the text display Blue and Yellows momma and poppas hugging one another until THEY turn green. Maybe it doesn't mean anything at all. But it certainly does make for an interesting tale. Nothing like simplicity to tie up the ole synapses for a while.
I can see children enjoying this book. I can also see different children growing bored with this book. It really is going to depend on the child more than anything else. If you have a kid that likes rousing adventures about (oh I dunno) tangible objects, this may not be the book for them. If, however, you've a child who's a little more dreamy. A little more open to different kinds of stories and characters, consider this book a perfect fit. Colorful, interesting, and unique. Lionni does many things with this book, but he does not disappoint.
On the surface, this is very simple story of two color dots who are the best of friends. Little blue and little yellow live across the street from each other and play together every day. On one such day, they were so happy to see each other that the two friends hug tightly until they turn green! They play as green all day long, visiting the park, chasing their friends and getting plain worn out.
When the duo returns home, mama and papa blue do not recognize little green, nor do mama and papa yellow. Rebuffed by both color families, they cry big blue and yellow tears until there is no green left. Only then do their parents hug and kiss them. When papa blue hugs little yellow, they suddenly realize what had happened! They all hug with joy and everyone is terrifically happy again.
This is possibly the most simply illustrated book I have ever seen and yet manages to be utterly charming at the same time. The pages are composed of blobs and smears of paint against plain white (although there is one black and one red page) backgrounds. Like the paintings, the words are simple, but beautiful. The end result is a wonderful book that you and your children will most certainly fall in love with.
Leo Lionni wrote this story while on a train trip with his two grandchildren. His charges were becoming increasing animated, and Lionni realized he needed some fast, creative thinking. After finding a page in his magazine with a colorful design, he ripped the page into small disks. Voila, the story of little blue and little yellow was born. The result of that train trip is a legendary book that has stood the test of time and continues to be delightful after fifty years.
I heard a horror story from a fellow teacher about this book that other teachers should be aware of: a kindergarten teacher read this book to her students and was repremanded by her principal. He said that when little blue and little yellow hug, and make green, it is sexual. He also said that it is racist that little blue's parents are blue and little yellow's parents are yellow and this does not reflect a multi-cultural view. Both of these seem silly to me. Just be aware.
Personally, I love it and so did my students!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the story of two best friends: little blue and little yellow.Read more