Blue So Blue

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Winner of the 2004 Prix Saint-Exupéry, an award given yearly to the best illustrated picture book in France by the family of The Little Prince author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry .

In the big gray city,
Lived a little boy who never played...

With A Blue So Blue, Jean-François Dumont has created an outstanding picture book that will dazzle the eye, stir the imagination, and warm the heart. The exquisitely written ...

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Overview

Winner of the 2004 Prix Saint-Exupéry, an award given yearly to the best illustrated picture book in France by the family of The Little Prince author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry .

In the big gray city,
Lived a little boy who never played...

With A Blue So Blue, Jean-François Dumont has created an outstanding picture book that will dazzle the eye, stir the imagination, and warm the heart. The exquisitely written tale whisks children off of a fantastic journey across land and sea. Every page features breathtaking paintings, rich in color and detail. It is simply a magical tour de force of illustration and storytelling.
The adventure begins with a little boy's marvelous dream of a perfect blue, a blue both soft and strong, a blue so blue you want to curl up inside it. Armed with a paintbrush, he travels the globe in search of this special color--from a famous art gallery to a mid-Atlantic fishing boat, from a remote blues club in the Mississippi Delta to a sun-drenched desert with a purple sky--only to realize that what he was looking for was right in his very own home after all.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This visually engaging tale follows the adventures of a bespectacled boy who is never without a paintbrush as he searches for "the blue of his dreams." He embarks on a series of journeys, dipping his brush into blues at each destination. Friendly guides point him toward other sites: a museum guard (who curiously does not forbid the child to touch masterpieces with his brush) sends him to the seashore; a guitarist playing "blue notes" tells the boy of the Blue Men in Africa; and the Blue Man chief wisely advises, "What you are looking for I do not know... Yet I do know that it may never have been very far away." Returning home, the boy indeed finds just the blue he's been looking for, in his mother's eyes. Dumont's meticulous artwork ranges from a ceiling-high perspective of the boy's room, whose elongated vertically striped wallpaper evokes the psychological roots of dreams, to the horizontal expanse of a ship that carries the boy to a turquoise patchwork resembling the Carribean. The dense, occasionally sing-song text pales next to the quality of the artwork, and the ending borders on clich ("I looked and I asked and I started to roam,/ till I found it at last-right here at home"). But given the combination of accomplished illustrations and a compelling tale of a young painter's passion to realize his dreams of artistic expression, this book may well become an inspiration for dreamers and budding artists alike. Ages 5-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Aside from the fact that a young boy leaves his home without telling anyone, leaving his mother to wonder where her son has gone and that artists may take issue with the statement that "all great artists are strange" this is a delightful story and message. Judging this book by its cover will lead readers to believe this is a tale of the blues, musical blues, that is, but that plays only a small part. It really is about blues in various shades and hues, and a quest for the perfect blue. Night after night a little boy has peculiar and wonderful dreams of blue. Needing to find the blue of his dreams, he grabs his paintbrush and book, and visits an art museum, an ocean, a tropical island, a blues club and Africa only to find his dream blue was right at home all along. The translation from the French still provides the beautiful description of blue—" . . . so blue it's precious and plain. A blue so blue it's hard to explain" and it is obvious that this won the Prix Saint-Exupery award in 2004. One nifty little feature in this book is the endpaper. Could these be glimpses into the main characters art book? They are smudges of various shades of blue—blues that may be found in the book with their 'artistic' name. Go back now to find them in the story! 2005 (orig. 2003), Sterling Publishing Co., Ages 4 to 8.
—Elizabeth Young
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-A boy who loves to draw starts dreaming about a certain blue: "A blue so blue, it was both dark and bright./A blue so blue, it was always just right." One morning, the memory of it is so strong that he sets off in search of it. He starts at a museum, and, when he doesn't find it, the guard suggests that he look in the Big Blue Sea. This begins a quest that takes him all over the world, from the South Sea to a blues club in the U.S. to the Blue Men in the African desert, until his search ends back at home. The writing, while lacking the concise nature of true poetry, is poetic in structure and occasionally rhymed; the story is more a thoughtful tale than a dramatic one. The paintings are the real stars in this book, which won the Prix Saint-Exupery, an illustration award given in France where it was first published. With dynamic compositions, a great sense of place, and vibrant and beautiful colors, Blue is a visual delight. While this probably won't have wide appeal, artistic kids (and their parents) will appreciate its look and its message.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402721397
  • Publisher: Sterling Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/1/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.38 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2005

    ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL AND GREAT!!!!

    I have two small children and a large obsession with picture books and have over 400 in my library. This book, though, happens to be one of my very favorite! The first time I read it I was dazzled by the gorgeous pictures and tale and became a little weepy at the end. My children loved it and thought of it as sort of a mystery just what was the blue the young boy was looking for. They love looking at the illustrations and since the first reading it has become a must read at least twice a week!! Great job and a wonderful addition for any home. This would also be a great book to use in the classroom!!

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