What If Your Best Friend Were Blue?

Overview

What if your best friend were blue? What if your doctor were yellow? Would it change things? A child imagines what the world would be like if people in his community each had a different skin color. Child-friendly acrylic illustrations and a strong read-aloud text gently teach colors while showing that it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

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Overview

What if your best friend were blue? What if your doctor were yellow? Would it change things? A child imagines what the world would be like if people in his community each had a different skin color. Child-friendly acrylic illustrations and a strong read-aloud text gently teach colors while showing that it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Susan Curry
What it would be like if the babysitter was orange, or the doctor was yellow? This is what the main character, a young boy, wonders about all the people he encounters. He knows if his best friend were blue he would still play with him. There is also a red teacher, a purple fireman, and a green policeman. The boy wonders what the world would be like if all these people were different colors. He concludes that the doctor would still make him better and if he was lost the police woman would still help him. He concludes that these people also do not care about outward appearances. The text is simple and the acrylic illustrations are realistic and colorful. Both the text and the pictures establish feelings of joy and caring from the characters of different colors. This is a delightful book about what is inside a person is all that matters. Parents and teachers can use the book to help children learn about tolerance as well as colors. Teachers can also use the book in the class room for students to work on coloring projects related to the people in their lives. Readers will enjoy this gem of a book. Reviewer: Susan Curry
Kirkus Reviews

This simple picture book is intended to teach both color awareness—of shades such as blue, green and yellow—and color-blindness in terms of skin tones. It doesn't work.

The book begins by asking, "What if your best friend were blue?" The child narrator answers, "Even if my best friend were blue, he'd still play soccer with me." The nominal dialogue continues: "What if a policewoman were green?" "Even if a policewoman were green, she'd still help me find my mom and dad." The book continues exactly like this, featuring a yellow doctor, a purple fireman, a red teacher and an orange babysitter. The intended message of this title is highjacked by two little words, repeated again and again: "even if." This phrase, suggesting as it does that a best friend would still play soccer despite his blue-ness and the policewoman still provide a helping hand despite her green-ness, does not undermine homogeneity, but rather confirms whiteness as humankind's default skin color. Further contributing to this notion is the fact that the main character is white, as are all the other adults and children who are not being used to demonstrate a particular color; skin tones aside from white that actually show up in the real world are absent entirely. Even the lessons in identifying colors fall apart here. The policewoman who is supposed to be green actually first appears as an off-putting shade of yellow.

A big miss. (Picture book. 4-8)

School Library Journal
PreS-K—A boy wonders what the world would be like if people were different colors. His best friend might be blue, but he would still play soccer. If the boy were lost, a green policewoman would help him find his parents. A yellow doctor, a purple fireman, and a red teacher would continue to do their jobs despite their color. His orange babysitter would be just as much fun as ever. He concludes that "these people don't care what color you are, either....They like you just because you're YOU!" Full-color acrylic illustrations are done in a cartoon style, and the simple text makes the lesson on tolerance accessible to youngsters. This book could be used as an introduction to Emily Jenkins's The Little Bit Scary People (Hyperion, 2008), which would deepen a discussion of tolerance and identity.—Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761458975
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Pages: 24
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 30, 2011

    Great for classroom or bedtime!

    Sweet concept and beautiful illustrations. Who would have thought colors AND tolerance could be gently taught in one fell swoop?

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