'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 16 September 2018

Review: Bob's Blue Period

In the story, Bob the ArtistMarion Deuchars introduced readers to a young self-conscious skinny legged bird who discovers his self-confidence. In her new story, Bob's Blue Period, we find Bob facing a new challenge.

Bob does everything with his best friend Bat. They especially love to paint together.

Until one day Bob finds a note on his easel, telling him that Bat has to go away for a while. Unsurprisingly Bob feels lonely without Bat and he begins to paint using the colour that best represents his mood, blue.

Bob painted blue bananas, oranges, trees and even the '...BIG BLUE HOLE where BAT used to be.'

Bob's other friends begin to notice that Bob's whole world is turning BLUE and swamping him like a huge wave. They realise that action is needed to help Bob change his blue mood. Luckily, they know just what will add the colour back into Bob's life.

I wonder what is so beautiful that it could make Bob dream in colour again and make him feel different.

Like her previous Bob story, Deuchars' illustrations in Bob's Blue Period are minimalist in style with a colour palette that is striking and memorable.

In this story, Deuchars tackles the topic of sadness with sensitivity and love. She highlights the importance of friends in a person's life and how they can assist someone in trouble.

Her book can be read and explored by children of many ages and at their age-appropriate level. For young children this story can lead to a discussion about missing a friend, how this makes them feel and what they can do to overcome their sadness. Older children may discuss how Deuchar's clever analogy of an artist's painting style, Pablo Picasso's Blue Period, to how people describe their emotions as a colour, blue for feeling sad or depressed.

Young adults can also access the parallels of Deuchar's story to Picasso's life and painting style. Looking at how deeply Picasso was effected by the loss of a close friend and how his melancholy mood transferred to painting using mostly a blue colour palette. High school art and psychology students may wish to explore how the colour blue is often used to represent the cold, sadness, pain, suffering, grief and even calmness.

I like how Deuchars' stories enable discussions about social issues that children encounter and how these issues can be accessed at many age appropriate levels in her stories.

Title: Bob's Blue Period
Author/Illustrator: Marion Deuchars
Publisher: Laurence King Publishing, $21.99
Publication Date: 1 June 2018
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781786270696
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Books