Author & Illustrator: Judi Abbot
So why am I hesitant about recommending this book wholeheartedly?
Baby Blue lives happily in a world of beautiful blue, until an accident on his bike shows him that there are other colors to explore, and new friends to meet, if only he is brave enough to seize the opportunity. With bright, appealing illustrations and a feel-good moral, this book makes sense for the reading circle at school. Not everyone is like you! You have to put yourself out there! Be brave! Diversity is beautiful! These are good lessons, and they are illustrated pleasantly enough in Baby Blue.
So why am I hesitant about recommending this book wholeheartedly? I have a few reasons. First of all, the narrative structure is very slight. There’s just not much of a story. Was Baby Blue lonely in his blue world? Happy? Why was he separate from the other colors? Was it chance? By design? We just aren’t told, and the fact that we don’t know lessens the impact of the lessons learned.
Secondly, why do all the little children have white faces? They look like white kids in colorful snowsuits. It’s jarring, it sticks out like a sore thumb, and we should be doing better in 2021. Once more for the publishers in the back, REPRESENTATION MATTERS.
Lastly, while the author indicates a debt of gratitude to the weird and wonderful L. Lionni’s Little Blue and Little Yellow, it has been pointed out to me that Baby Blue is actually very similar to Mixed by Arree Chung, which is a stronger story illustrating the importance of diversity, with no snowsuits.
[Editor’s Note: In a departure from customary practice, Magination Press did not include an endnote in “Baby Blue” providing instruction to adults on how to use the book in a familial and/or classroom setting. This is unfortunate, as the endnotes are a value-added resource provided by the publisher. With regard to Arree Chung’s “Mixed,” it is, no doubt, a superior story. You can purchase it here.]
More books for this Age Group can be found here.
My thanks to Magination Press for providing a Review Copy of this book. All opinions provided herein are my own.
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