Gr 1-3-Living in a blue land, young Blue and his blue calf, Polly, dream about all the other colors of the world. Setting off to explore, they encounter a purple village, orange hills, a red town, and other monochromatic places. At last they arrive in a beautiful multihued city, and the boy lives there happily until he realizes that there is no blue. Frightened, he locks himself and Polly in his room. Boredom leads him to an idea: he begins to paint, write, and sing in blue and then sends his creative works out beneath his door. When he ventures outside again, he finds his contributions have added a new hue to the city's kaleidoscope of colors. He, too, changes, as he physically takes on an array of new shades, but retains his blue heart. The brief text is balanced by simple, computer-colored brush and India-ink artwork. The illustrations begin with blue pages and move through the spectrum as Blue and Polly expand their horizons. Throughout their travels, the duo's contrasting shade stands out, creating a feeling of isolation. The youngster's change of palette colorfully reflects the story's underlying message. While not a first purchase, this allegorical offering will work well as an introduction to multicultural discussions as well as lessons on courage.-Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
In a still boldly drawn but less frenetic outing than Wow, City! (2004) and Wow, America! (May 2006), Neubecker sends an all-blue lad and his diminutive blue cow out of their all-blue land in search of other colors. Attracting surprisingly little notice from passersby, the travelers visit countries yellow, purple, orange, red and more, settling down at last in a motley city bright with every color except blue. Fearfully retreating to his room, he gradually summons the courage to sing, paint and write in his own distinctive color, and then to venture back out-to discover that not only have patches of blue appeared in the busy cityscape, but now he (and his bovine pet) have absorbed the other hues in turn. The metaphor's plainly doing the driving here, but is clear enough to be understood by younger readers too, and broad enough to be interpreted in either a personal or a cultural way. (Picture book. 6-8)