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Yesterday I Had the Blues (Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards)) Hardcover – September 9, 2003
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From School Library Journal
Grade 1-4-An African-American boy laments about the blues he had the previous day, "those deep down in my shoes blues, the go away, Mr. Sun, quit smilin' at me blues," and goes on to describe his other days, using the colors of the rainbow. There are days when he has "The runnin' my hand along the hedges greens," Daddy has the grays, and Gram's got "The mix up some oatmeal raisin cookies- yellows." Vibrant acrylic-and-gouache spreads give rhythm and meaning to this child's interpretation of everyday life, his neighborhood, and his family. The illustrations effectively express each individual's mood and beautifully capture the cultural and artistic aspects of the family's life, while the expressive text is engaging. Readers and listeners alike will enthusiastically respond to this book and instantly identify with the sentiments expressed.
Wanda Meyers-Hines, Ridgecrest Elementary School, Huntsville, AL
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
K-Gr. 2. The young African American narrator of this picture book spends a gloomy day with the blues; on the other hand, his energetic, ballet-crazy sister has a case of the pinks. Frame explores the spectrum of feelings, represented by different colors, that a sensitive little boy observes in himself and in others who live in his urban neighborhood. Cues in the artwork that can help children understand the emotions may occasionally be lost in Christie's sometimes dizzyingly askew compositions, but the vibrant palette and expressive characters perfectly reinforce the premise. Frame's soulful text describes each emotion with a flair for the telling detail (the father has "got the grays. . . . / The don't ask for a new skateboard till tomorrow grays"). At times, the author's free-associating can be a bit puzzling (the "straight shoelaces, coffee in the car grays"), but representing emotions with colors is an excellent way to introduce kids to metaphor. This will be a versatile tool for creative-writing units, too. Jennifer Mattson
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