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by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Publishers Weekly Seeger's Green celebrated a single color, and so too does this companion, all the while telling a poignant story. Close-range, canvas-stroked spreads portray the start of a friendship as a golden retriever puppy and a toddler nap on the same blanket ("baby blue"). The young dog and boy romp on the beach ("ocean blue") and sleep together ("midnight blue") as they both grow older, until the boy, now much changed, is seen cuddling his aging dog ("true blue"). When it's time for the two to say goodbye, Seeger shows the young man alone, his head bowed as he sits by the ocean where he and his dog once played ("so blue"). Though things begin to look up in the final spreads, the death is a difficult moment, and readers might find themselves a bit blue. Seeger balances many different picture book elements as she identifies evocative hues for the duo's story, examines common objects such as blueberries and butterflies, and inserts unexpected die-cuts in each page to reveal fragments of the surrounding spreads. Ages 3-6. (Sept.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list *Starred Review* In this companion to her Caldecott Honor Book Green (2012), Seeger reflects on the many shades and emotions suggested by this pigment. Baby blue depicts a sleeping toddler and puppy sharing a blue blanket. A page turn reveals a slightly older preschooler and his dog collecting berry blue fruit. A child's painting of a boy and dog, marred by paw prints, is captioned maybe blue. In later spreads, both youngster and pooch mature, sparking adventures that involve running into the waves (ocean blue), camping out (quiet blue), and a snowy walk (chilly blue). Eventually, of course, old blue / true blue passes away, leaving the teen so blue, until he meets a girl with her own pup, new blue. While story takes a prominent role in this concept book, Seeger has not neglected the artistic details that distinguished her work. The acrylic-on-canvas paintings exhibit a range of styles: from playful (silly blue) to contemplative (midnight blue) to gently combative (my blue, in which boy and mutt each tug at the baby blanket). As in Green, strategically placed die-cuts help to connect the spreads, previewing important features of the next illustration. A story full of heart, this works on many levels, assuring satisfying discoveries with repeated viewings.--Kay Weisman Copyright 2018 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal K-Gr 3-In her companion to Green, Seeger follows the lives of a boy and his dog, Blue. Beginning with the sleeping toddler and his puppy accompanied by the words "baby blue," the pair is shown growing up together and sharing experiences through all seasons and in all weather. Their various activities include blueberry picking, chasing butterflies, taking snowy walks, and frolicking in the ocean. An azure bandana appears on almost every page, sometimes worn by the boy and sometimes by his dog. The pictures and words will appeal to readers' emotions, including delight, contentment, exasperation, and profound sadness when the youth is pictured holding his elderly dog for the last time. Precisely placed die-cuts lead readers to the next page and the next illustration depicting the pair's devotion. Short, rhyming couplets consisting of two words each scan well and are skillfully conveyed by the acrylic paintings on canvas: "quiet blue/silly blue/stormy blue/chilly blue." VERDICT Though there is sorrow, it is followed by joy in this touching tribute to a heartwarming relationship that will engage readers of all ages.-Maryann H. Owen, Oak Creek Public Library WI Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus This companion to Seeger's Caldecott Honor book Green (2012) explores a fresh color's visual and metaphorical permutations.Seeger unfolds the entwined lives of a white boy and a golden Lab, from baby- and puppy-hood through a series of poignant transitions. Cleverly placed die cuts and rhymed, two-word phrases (set in ever crisp Helvetica Neue bold) anchor each double-page spread. To her many-hued blues, some thick with impasto, Seeger adds yellow, sienna, crimson, and green in scenes that transit fluidly among interiors and natural tableaux exploring the sea, a stormy night, a sun-dappled park, and more. At "baby blue," puppy and toddler sleep among blue toys, sharing a small square of blue clotha future neckerchief they'll trade throughout. For "berry blue," boy pulls dog and a berry basket in a red wagon. The phrase "maybe blue" perches on a blob of yellow in the child's vivid self-portrait with pet. (The dog traverses the picture, tracking yellow paint across the deep-blue ground, its die-cut paw prints mixing to make green.) At "very blue" the pair cavorts among blue butterflies, which fill the foreground in huge, delightful proximity. Later scenes depict the Lab's inevitable aging, with the boy sitting ("so blue") on a dock at sunset, his body bent in grief. Last, another transition: meeting a brown-skinned girl and her young sheepdog, the blue scrap now tucked in the teen's back pocket.Sumptuous, stunning, and heart-stirring. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Horn Book Inventive author-illustrator Seeger sneaks a story about loss into her celebration of all shades blue--"baby blue," "berry blue"--through a portrait of the happy life of a boy and his dog. We slowly understand that the boy is growing, and so is the dog..."old blue." As in her previous book Green, small die-cuts lead from each richly textured double-page spread to the next. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.