My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood


What color is your mood?

On a really good day, Jamie feels purple like the first bite of a juicy cold plum.

And with a crayon in his hand, Jamie eases into a green feeling—like a dragon dancing through a jungle made of green jello.

But when his brothers push him around and make fun of his ...

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What color is your mood?

On a really good day, Jamie feels purple like the first bite of a juicy cold plum.

And with a crayon in his hand, Jamie eases into a green feeling—like a dragon dancing through a jungle made of green jello.

But when his brothers push him around and make fun of his drawings, Jamie feels like a dark gray storm brewing.

What will it take to put Jamie back in a bright-feeling mood?

Through Jamie, young readers will learn to describe how they’re feeling in a unique way.

My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood is a 2014 Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Writing in engaging free verse, Brown (Around Our Way on Neighbors’ Day) follows the emotions of a boy named Jamie as he juggles his own pleasures with the demands of his family. As the title suggests, his moods are linked metaphorically to colors and foods. When his older brothers take over the sofa with their video game, Jamie’s mood changes from a “Grape-juice drinking/ On the couch/ Bobbing to the beat kind of mood” to a “gray kind of place/ Storm brewing inside/ That I hide/ ’Cause I don’t want any trouble space.” Evans (We March) develops Jamie’s character with care and attention, painting him singing into a homemade tennis-ball-and-toilet-paper-tube microphone, then streaking home from a basketball game to make it home by dark. It’s valuable both for its believable exposition of Jamie’s interior world and for its warm portrait of the life of a nonwhite family in which sharing is essential, rules are followed, conflicts are resolved, and meals (“Curry chicken!/ That’s my piece!”) are enjoyed together. Ages 4–up. Author’s agent: Jennifer Rofé, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
Using colors to represent mood, a young boy with light brown skin indicates his feelings in different situations. Listening to music he is in a happy purple mood. When his big brothers take over to play video games, he is in a gray place. Jamie is in a green mood when he helps his younger sister draw. When his big brothers tease him, things are black. Playing basketball with friends feels orange. Rushing to get to supper on time is red. In the bathroom first to wash up for supper is brown as he keeps his brothers and sister out. Delicious supper with lemon pie elicits yellow. Washing dishes after supper with earphones on puts him in a peaceful bluesy mood. He's feeling love as the family puts the dishes away and is in a "Cold-plum eating Being kind of mood" as he looks at a dish of plums. Children will identify with the various family situations while learning to express various moods through color. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—A boy describes each of the varying emotions he experiences in terms of color. Listening to music puts him in a purple kind of mood, while being evicted from the couch by his two bossy older brothers makes him feel gray. When his little sister asks him to draw a dragon, a gentle green feeling comes over him, which turns black when his siblings snatch the picture and tease: "Awww-it's cwayon time." The book could be paired with Dr. Seuss's My Many Colored Days (Knopf, 1996), which specifically discusses colors as they relate to moods, or Molly Bang's When Sophie Gets Angry, Really Really Angry (Scholastic, 1999), in which the palette reflects Sophie's changing emotions. Evans's digital collage illustrations, created with oil paints and graphite, effectively convey the mood/color correlation, although the shape of the children's mouths seems the same whether happy, sad, or angry.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
In a free-wheeling style and going far beyond the usual pairings of colors with moods, Jamie describes his day's emotional path. He begins on the sofa, bopping to music from his headphones: "I'm in a mood… / A being kind of mood… / A purple kind of mood / Cold-plum eating / Grape-juice drinking / On the couch / Bobbing to the beat kind of mood." Pushy, mocking older brothers send Jamie stomping into "a gray kind of place / Storm brewing inside / That I hide / 'Cause I don't want any trouble space / Dark and swelling / Looming / Gloomy gray kind of place." But at the basketball court, Jamie's competence reigns: "Fake left, slide right / Swish! and swish! / Sweet orange mood." Evans' digital collages, made with oil paint and graphite, buzz with motion and angle. Figures have lively eyes and eyebrows but awkwardly immobile mouths. Most spreads emphasize multiple versions of one hue (cool and warm purples; cool and warm yellows), while clothing and the browns of skin and hair provide highlights. A cheerful family meal and some peaceful dishwashing bring Jamie back full circle to his "living, breathing / Cold-plum eating / Being kind of mood," a realistically complex combination of pleasure, security and centeredness. This isn't the easiest scansion to read aloud, but it's worth it. Figurative and grounded--a nicely sophisticated exploration. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670012855
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 3/7/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 244,417
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Tameka Fryer Brown loves drawing with brand-new, super-sharp crayons like Jamie, and her favorite color is all the colors of the rainbow. Writing stories for kids puts her in a sweet, juicy, peachy kind of mood. Tameka lives with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Shane Evans is an artist, author, illustrator, musician, songwriter, and founder of Dream Studio, a community art space in Kansas City, Missouri, where he currently resides with his wife, daughter, and three dogs. In 2012, he became a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner for Underground, published by Roaring Brook Press.

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