BOOKLIST - July 1, 2018 (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