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They Say Blue

Abrams (US), Groundwood (CAN), 2018
Picture book, 40 pages, full colour

From Abrams: In captivating paintings full of movement and transformation, Tamaki follows a young girl through a year or a day as she examines the colors in the world around her. Egg yolks are sunny orange as expected, yet water cupped in her hands isn’t blue like they say. But maybe a blue whale is blue. She doesn’t know, she hasn’t seen one. Playful and philosophical, They Say Blue is a book about color as well as perspective, about the things we can see and the things we can only wonder at.


“Thinking, imagining, noticing—these, Tamaki suggests, are the tools we have to understand our world.”— Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Attuned to a child’s psychology and patterns of critical thinking, this visually stunning work is a must-purchase for libraries.” —
School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“Best of all, Tamaki creates a protagonist with autonomy as we see the child move from received knowledge to confidence in her own perceptions: ‘They say the sea is blue. But when I hold the water in my hands, it’s as clear as glass.'” –
Quill  & Quire, STARRED REVIEW

New York Times Notable Children’s Book / Governor General’s Literary Award / Boston Globe-Horn Book Award / NPR Best Book of 2018 / School Library Journal Best Book of 2018 / Starred reviews: Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Horn Book, Booklist