March 29, 2018


It's pretty hard to believe that They Say Blue is Jillian Tamaki's picture book debut. Yes, she has ages of comic and graphic novel work under her belt, but how has she not created a picture book before this one? She's a natural!

They Say Blue follows a young girl for an undefined amount of time (it could be a day, it could be a year) as she examines the colors in the world around her. They say that water is blue, but when she holds water in her hands it looks clear. And she doesn't need to crack an egg to know that the yolk is orange, it's just always orange. So can we see colors when they're not there? What about our preconceived notions clouds our ability to open our minds to new possibilities? Just because we can't see something, does that mean it's not there, that it doesn't exist?

Each spread is intoxicating. The illustrations ebb and flow, and they carry readers right along with them, enveloping them in worlds of color and wonder. Tamaki dives right in, exploring the color blue first and then allowing herself and readers to examine other colors like blood red, straw gold, and flower purple. What do these colors mean to readers? Can readers see beyond the colors around them to make larger connections about what is happening around them (purple flowers mean spring, and gray clouds mean a storm is coming)? Most importantly, though, can readers learn to separate what they know to be true today and what might be false tomorrow? If nothing else, this book drives home the need to think for "today" and examine the world around us through new eyes every day. 

They Say Blue published March 13 from Abrams!

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