I’ve read this book at least five times in the past couple of months because I love it so much and because I couldn’t think of the right words to tell you how much I love it or why. The blurb tells me it’s about “creativity, comfort zones – and colour”. It feels like much more though.
Danny Blue is the son of Mr Blue, a paint maker whose factory makes “the most beautiful shades of blue in all of Blue York.” Danny lives in a world of blue, from blueberry pancakes to the blue spoon he uses to eat his blueberries for dessert.
One night Danny has a dream but this dream is different. This is a Really Excellent Dream! Danny wonders if it’s possible to show people what he saw in his dream, but how will the people of Blue York react when they’re faced with something that’s not blue?
This book speaks to me of following your dreams (sorry, I had to go there) and that different doesn’t automatically equate to bad. I thought of pioneers whose ideas are met by peoples’ resistance to change and how embracing change can spur on creativity. I also thought this was a really cool book to teach kids about primary colours.
Max Landrak’s illustrations are fantastic! I love the imaginative use of the word everything to showcase Danny’s blue world. Inside each letter you’re shown a different element of Danny’s world, from the blue parrot to the blue ice cream (with a blue cone) to the blue bricks. I loved that most of the book is greyscale with highlights of blue, like the stripes on Danny’s shirt, so by the time a new colour is introduced it really does look revolutionary.
While I’ve told you a lot about this book and probably used more words than you’ll find in the book to do so I still don’t feel like I’ve really gotten to the crux of why I love this book so much. I’m not sure I can. Sometimes you come across a book and your love for it can’t be fully explained. It just is.
In a nutshell, this is a really fun kid’s book about a boy that follows his dream and, in doing so, changes his world. It’s a new favourite.
Once Upon a Blurb
Danny Blue lives in a world where everything is blue. And while there are many different shades and hues, everything is essentially the same. But then one night Danny sees something in a dream that is unlike anything else. He tried to describe it, but no one can understand what he means, and so he decides to create the thing he saw in his Really Excellent Dream (or R.E.D.).