They Say Blue
Written by Jillian Tamaki
Breathtaking is the only way to describe this book. Intricately detailed, beautifully colored artwork takes the reader through a journey of colors as a little girl explores her world and wonders at how the colors fit into it. Blue is the color of the ocean, yet up close the ocean is clear. The fields of grass look like a golden ocean but it is still only grass. Color heralds the change of seasons, brightly colored flowers in the spring, green leaves in the summer, gold and red leaves that fall in the autumn and the silence of white in the winter. Throughout, deft brush strokes and sketch lines keep this story in constant motion and make the reader feel the childlike wonder of the young narrator. Per usual, Tamaki’s art is the story and will keep young ones fascinated in an exploration of the detail.
Written by Sophie Blackall
“On the highest rock of a tiny island at the edge of the world stands a lighthouse.”
So begins a journey into the history of the lighthouse and the story of its keeper and his family as they tend to its needs, connected to the outside world by only the supply boat with its tins of beans and the occasional letter. Epic artwork captures the fury and majesty of the ocean, illustrating the importance of lighthouse and its keeper’s mission. Ms. Blackall’s ‘About Lighthouses’ essay at the back of the book will continue the history lesson. As she writes “Every lighthouse comes with stories of bravery and monotony, routine and adventure” She certainly has captured all of that quite fantastically in this book. This is a terrific jumping off point for a lesson in nautical traditions.
The Forever Tree
Written by Teresa Surratt and Donna Lukas
Illustrated by Nicola Slater
Bright, boldly colored art helps to tell the story of a tree much loved by both the local wildlife and their neighboring humans. When one spring the tree doesn’t come back to life and its existence is threatened, the animals gather the experts and artists from the human community to find a way to preserve it. It is a sweet imaginative story made all the more poignant by the author’s note telling of the true story behind this tree. Children will delight in its reading and will probably decide that chipmunks would make wonderful friends. This would be the story time book that kids will ask for again and again if only to hear about the clever forest creatures.