Cover image for My blue is happy
My blue is happy
First edition.
Physical Description:
26 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
AD 520 L Lexile
Added Author:
Invites readers to explore the infinite possibilities of emotional expression through color, discussing how people respond differently when seeing colors and how these experiences help broaden the world in wonderful new ways.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book EASY YOU 0 1
Book EASY YOU 1 1
Book EASY YOU 1 1
Book EASY YOU 1 1
Book EASY YOU 1 2

On Order



What is your blue like? A lyrical ode to colors -- and the unique ways we experience them -- follows a little girl as she explores the world with her family and friends.

Your neighbor says red is angry like a dragon's breath, but you think it's brave like a fire truck. Or maybe your best friend likes pink because it's pretty like a ballerina's tutu, but you find it annoying -- like a piece of gum stuck on your shoe. In a subtle, child-friendly narrative, art teacher and debut author Jessica Young suggests that colors may evoke as many emotions as there are people to look at them -- and opens up infinite possibilities for seeing the world in a wonderful new way.

Author Notes

Jessica Young is a former art teacher and curriculum consultant. She writes picture books and chapter books for young readers and lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Catia Chien has illustrated numerous books for children including The Sea Serpent and Me by Dashka Slater and The Longest Night: A Passover Story by Laurel Snyder. My Blue Is Happy is her first book with Candlewick Press. Catia Chien was born in Brazil and currently lives in California.

Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

Blue is sad and red means angry, right? Not for a thoughtful girl who sees colors less conventionally than those around her. "Yellow is cheery.... Like the summer sun," the girl's mother tells her as they stand on opposite sides of a golden field. "But my yellow is worried," the girl reflects. "Like a wilting flower/ And a butterfly caught in a net." While the girl's father sees brown as "ordinary/ Like a plain paper bag," it's "special" for the girl; Chien (The Longest Night) paints her squeezing chocolate syrup all over her chocolate ice cream, eyes closed in delight. As debut author Young takes readers through nine colors, she gently introduces the idea of opposites and invites children to consider the different feelings colors can evoke. Working in acrylic, Chien easily keeps up with the story's shifting moods, showing how a gray rainstorm can be simultaneously cold (in the murky outdoors) and warm, as the girl curls up inside with her grandmother on a cozy armchair. Ages 3-7. Author's agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Some people may think of blue as a sad color, but the little girl narrator of this picture book has her own opinion about that, and her blue is happy. Her mother finds yellow to be cheerylike the summer sun, but the little girls yellow is worried / Like a wilting flower / And a butterfly caught in a net. Dad thinks brown is ordinary / Like a plain paper bag, but our narrators brown is special / Like chocolate syrup / And a piece of earth / thats just for me. Its at once a celebration of the world and its colors and a book about feelings and perceptions, contrasting the differences between the way two people see the same thing. Chiens acrylic paintings fill the pages with intense shades of the featured colors (especially striking is a double-page spread depicting green as old as a forest), while reflecting the human relationships with humor and tenderness through facial expressions and body language. Readers and young listeners can have some good conversations about their own color perceptions after sharing this warm, deceptively simple concept book. susan dove lempke (c) Copyright 2013. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

The young narrator tells readers that her sister thinks blue is sad. Like a lonely song. But that's not the way she sees it. Blue to her is a pair of favorite jeans or a splash in the pool. So begins a look at the feelings colors elicit and how they can vary from person to person. Yellow may be cheery for her mom, but to the girl, it's like a wilting flower. Even poor gray has a bright side: for this girl, it's as cozy as a kitten and the sound of soft rain on the roof. There are many books about colors, but this more nuanced look is a welcome addition. Though the cover image of the narrator eating a blueberry bar is inviting, it's probably the least successful of the acrylic pictures, which inside range from a whimsical ballet scene featuring girls who do and don't like pink to contemplative spreads on the nature of black. There will be lots of uses for this title, not the least of which is giving kids the opportunity to discuss how each color makes them feel.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-In this engaging story, a little girl realizes that not everyone feels the same about colors. Her sister sees blue as sad and associates it with lonely songs. But the protagonist sees it as happy because it reminds her of her favorite jeans and the pool on a hot day. Dad says brown is ordinary like a paper bag but chocolate syrup is the association that the child makes. Art teachers will gravitate toward this upbeat title to let children begin to explore the importance of color. Chien's illustrations are appropriately vibrant and allow for the different interpretations that the text suggests. This idea of colors and the associations youngsters have about them is an interesting subject and would make for some great writing activities. How do you feel when you see red? How about violet or orange? Having children compare their notions of the same colors would make for some great conversations. This child knows her own mind and feelings and isn't about to have someone else's associations color her world. Use the story with Emma Dodd's Dog's Colorful Day (Dutton, 2001), Roseanne Thong's Red Is a Dragon (Chronicle, 2001), Ellen Stoll Walsh's Mouse Paint (Houghton Harcourt, 1989), and Jane Brocket's Ruby, Violet, Lime (Millbrook, 2012) to further explore color with children.-Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A little girl's contrarian views about the emotional significance of various colors permit her to explore her individuality among family and friends. " Yellow is cheery,' says my mom. / Like the summer sun.' / But my yellow is worried / Like a wilting flower / And a butterfly caught in a net." Her best friend loves pink: "It's pretty, like a ballerina's tutu." Pink can be annoying, however, like a bug bite and gum on a shoe. Chien's acrylic double-page spread shows four pink-clad dancers in a studio, with our narrator troubled both by flying pests and, yes, gum stretching from her slipper's sole. Young's plainly delivered, poetic text achieves a subtly conspiratorial tone, as the little girl establishes the specialness of brown chocolate syrup and gray's "curled-up kitten" coziness. Some of the metaphorical musings seem too adult for a child narrator and might elude young children, especially since Chien illustrates some and ignores others. (That captured butterfly, for example, never appears, and a prowling orange tiger seems to confront the narrator directly.) Her rich but controlled palette and simply drawn faces evoke a bit of Brian Karas' work. An uneven but interesting meditation on the resonance of color, for classroom or family sharing. (Picture book. 4-7)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.