"Blue"

The world might be awash in red and green, but you’ll strike gold gifting a copy of “Blue” to a little one in your life.

Using just the word “blue,” award-winning author/illustrator Laura Vaccaro Seeger walks readers through the lives of a beloved pet by that name, and the dog’s owner. Readers meet them on the opening spread, a golden retriever pup and the cherub-faced boy sharing a nighty-night in slumber, “baby blue,” the text simply states.

Each page shows the pair growing older, highlighting another blue hue, from “berry blue” with the boy pulling the pup in a wagon exiting a blueberry patch, to “ocean blue” the pair now older dashing into white-capped waves, to “stormy blue,” “chilly blue,” “old blue,” “so blue,” other entries of blue offered in between, displaying the dog's lifecycle of love and devotion.

Clever cutouts add to the creativity of this touching picture book—a circular cutout reveals a purple balloon that takes its color from the next page, a sailboat’s sail shines white on a page where the boy, now nearly grown, sits on a rock by the sea in despair, the glowing sun marking day’s end.

“Blue” is genius, demanding a reread to really understand where the author is taking us, but once the illustrative narrative comes clear it’s certain to elicit sighs because of the deep emotions the pictures convey.

Young and old alike will be captivated by “Blue.” Have a hankie ready. Preschool to first grade.