They Say Blue
Caldecott and Printz Honor-winning illustrator Jillian Tamaki brings us a poetic exploration of colour and nature from a young child’s point of view. They Say Blue follows a young girl as she contemplates colours in the known and the unknown, in the immediate world and the world beyond what she can see. The sea looks blue, yet water cupped in her hands is as clear as glass. Is a blue whale blue? She doesn’t know — she hasn’t seen one.Stunningly beautiful illustrations flow from one spread to the next, as time passes and the imagination takes hold. The world is full of colour, and mystery too, in this first picture book from a highly acclaimed artist.

They Say Blue Details

TitleThey Say Blue
Author
ReleaseMar 1st, 2018
PublisherGroundwood Books
ISBN-139781773060200
Rating
GenreChildrens, Picture Books, Storytime

They Say Blue Review

  • Dani
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVE this one more than words can say. To so fully capture the magic of both colours and childhood? Jillian, you're amazing.
  • Crystal
    January 1, 1970
    Gorgeous!
  • Christopher
    January 1, 1970
    Here’s your first 2019 Caldecott contender.
  • Boni
    January 1, 1970
    A gorgeous book. Wow. But it was a little too broad- a lack of focus (colors, seasons, feelings, the character becoming a tree for four spreads, existential questions...so much here!) and a jumpy narrative muddy it up too much or me. A tighter focus would have made it shine. Still, a lovely book with a lot to say.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    An expressive, quiet first picture book from Jillian Tamaki (This One Summer). As the Kirkus review said, "Neither exactly a book about colors nor exactly a book about seasons, this is a reminder to slow down, savor the present, notice small details, and relish childlike wonder."
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    The illustrations are bright and vivid. However, the story just left me wanting more details. I understand that the girl in the story is curious, but I feel like young readers might not get that. The story ended abruptly.
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    This is lovely! I love the progression of color throughout the book and how it works with the text to tell the story.
  • DaNae
    January 1, 1970
    A joyful acknowledgement of our vibrant world of color.
  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful illustrations, intriguing story line about a curious child looking at colors and seasons.
  • M. Lauritano
    January 1, 1970
    In a deliberate shift towards a child friendly art style, Jillian Tamaki has made a book filled with sensuous illustrations structured by a progression of colors. Unfortunately, the text doesn’t live up to her artistic prowess. It is absent of anything like a story, which might not have been a problem if the book had been subtitled “a poem” or if she had completely abandoned the notion of a consistent character that suggests a narrative trajectory. Instead, readers are left to wade through a ser In a deliberate shift towards a child friendly art style, Jillian Tamaki has made a book filled with sensuous illustrations structured by a progression of colors. Unfortunately, the text doesn’t live up to her artistic prowess. It is absent of anything like a story, which might not have been a problem if the book had been subtitled “a poem” or if she had completely abandoned the notion of a consistent character that suggests a narrative trajectory. Instead, readers are left to wade through a series of quasi-poetic observations that don’t amount to a lasting memorable meaning. Jillian Tamaki has certainly proven herself as a capable and witty storyteller with works geared at older readers. Where did that version of her disappear to in the text of this book?
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  • Earl
    January 1, 1970
    A beautifully illustrated picture book contemplating the colors of natural world.
  • Lisa Delacruz
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful book! May win awards galore such as Caldecott
  • Bill
    January 1, 1970
    Gorgeous illustrations and cover. The text/conceptual progression throughout the book, on the other hand, does not succeed particularly well.
  • Janet Slipak
    January 1, 1970
    Caldecott and Printz Honor-winning illustrator Jillian Tamaki brings us a poetic exploration of colour and nature from a young child’s point of view. They Say Blue follows a young girl as she contemplates colours in the known and the unknown, in the immediate world and the world beyond what she can see. The sea looks blue, yet water cupped in her hands is as clear as glass. Is a blue whale blue? She doesn’t know — she hasn’t seen one.Stunningly beautiful illustrations flow from one spread to the Caldecott and Printz Honor-winning illustrator Jillian Tamaki brings us a poetic exploration of colour and nature from a young child’s point of view. They Say Blue follows a young girl as she contemplates colours in the known and the unknown, in the immediate world and the world beyond what she can see. The sea looks blue, yet water cupped in her hands is as clear as glass. Is a blue whale blue? She doesn’t know — she hasn’t seen one.Stunningly beautiful illustrations flow from one spread to the next, as time passes and the imagination takes hold. The world is full of colour, and mystery too, in this first picture book from a highly acclaimed artist.Canadian AuthorMY THOUGHTS:I received this book in exchange for an honest review.Wow! Let’s start with the book jacket. Chad W. Beckerman and Jillian Tamaki did a fantastic job with the book jacket. It’s quaint and whimsical and right away, I saw my daughter shooing birds at the beach. The watercolour format is a perfect choice. If you remove the book jacket, you are bombarded with vibrant colors of the rainbow.Inside you’re immediately introduced to the main character who is just adorable and she is surrounded by an array of gorgeous watercolors in shades of blue… with the main character plunked right in the middle. The book continues on exposing more and more colors to the reader using bright, carefree strokes and fun illustrations; and then, eventually returns to the color of blue as the story wraps up. I fell in love with the talent of this author for both her story and the illustrations that accompany her work. The story is perfect for a picture book where young children are learning to read and enjoy reading along with a parent. The wording is age appropriate, simplistic and takes children on a journey of life and color and how beautiful our planet truly is. This book is filled with love from cover to cover.It’s a large hardcover book perfect for the lap. I can’t say enough about this book.
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed the illustrations of this book. The vivid colors will surely capture readers attention. It's a good picture book for children who are beginning to recognize colors. However, the story just left me wanting more details. I understand that the girl in the story is curious, but I feel like young readers might not get that.
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  • Ann Haefele
    January 1, 1970
    Five stars for the illustrations and three stars for the text, especially since its audience is young children. Loved how it fostered curiosity, from everything from colors to seasons to nature , but not sure young children will get it. Ending seemed abrupt. But it is worth picking up and reading, if just to experience the illustrations. It will probably be a 2019 Caldecott contender.
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  • JoEllen
    January 1, 1970
    #TheySayBlue is a gorgeous picture book debut from Jillian Tamika (One Crazy Summer). Illustrations will take your breath away. Love the innocence, inquisitive nature of the narrator. Great to inspire thoughtful questioning, conversations and connections to season and color. Sure to inspire poetry writing too! ‪#TheySayBlue is a gorgeous picture book debut from Jillian Tamika (One Crazy Summer). Illustrations will take your breath away. ‬ Love the innocence, inquisitive nature of the narrator. Great to inspire thoughtful questioning, conversations and connections to season and color. Sure to inspire poetry writing too!
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  • Great Books
    January 1, 1970
    On the surface, Tamaki’s debut picture book could be mistaken for a simple exploration of colors and seasons. However, older picture book readers will be inspired by the illustrator’s lyrical meditations on nature and captivated by her expressive artwork. Reviewer #6
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  • Leonard Kim
    January 1, 1970
    I would say this is an early season awards contender, including Newbery: Picture Book Category (I know that’s not a thing.) Holding to the very highest standard, maybe ~3 too many spreads for perfection (perhaps too much time spent on the seasons/tree sub-section) but that’s still pretty darn good.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful illustrations and sparse words bring this story of color and seasons to life for readers young and old. The thickness of the paper makes the book feel more like a work of art than a book. Lovely!
  • Aliza Werner
    January 1, 1970
    Gorgeous watercolor illustrations, but a meandering narrative may not hold young readers' attention. But each part is worth discussion (the seasons, knowing something is true without being able to see it with our own eyes).
  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    "They Say Blue" by Jillian Tamaki is a wonderful picture book. The illustrations are stunning and the story is beautiful, thoughtful, creative. I loved everything about this children's book and highly recommend.
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Hmm, I didn't quite get this book. To me it started one way and then took off in a random direction. Her illustrations are really nice. It mentions a lot of colors. I'd be curious to see what a kid would think of this. I do have to add that you should look under the jacket.
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  • Allison
    January 1, 1970
    There is an artistic beauty to the words (and the illustrations) in this book. I wouldn't necessary use it with the younger set at a storytime but I would certainly share it as a read aloud with older kids.
  • Michele Knott
    January 1, 1970
    Illustrations are stunning. I could revisit them over and over.I'm not sure the text will keep the interest of young readers. Conversation may be needed just to keep the interest of young ones.
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Perfect color imagination book.
  • Carrie Gelson
    January 1, 1970
    Stunning
  • Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    A story and illustrations brimming with magic, movement, and a message - classic Tamaki.
  • Tracie
    January 1, 1970
    Colors in the world around us.
  • Alice
    January 1, 1970
    I like the pictures! They are beautiful! I liked the story but not one I want to read over and over! Caldecott Honor worthy but it might have been TOO complex or deep for me! ;-)
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