My Blue Is Happy

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Follow one girl’s journey through her
neighborhood as she explores what
colors mean to different people. ls
red angry, like a dragon’s burning
breath? Or brave like a fire truck and
a superhero cape? ls pink pretty or
annoying? What about black and
orange and green?

ln her picture-book debut, author and
art teacher Jessica Young challenges
common assumptions about colors
and celebrates individual perspective.
Brazilian-born artist Catia Chien
provides her own interpretation in this
ode to colors — and the unique ways
we experience them.

(Scroll down for printable resources and activities as well as other ordering options.)

It’s 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. . . . Readers and young listeners can have some good conversations about their own color perceptions after sharing this warm, deceptively simple concept book. The Horn Book Magazine

The fresh associations and vivid, concrete descriptions of abstract feelings and ideas will surely inspire young readers and listeners to think about new ways to describe what they see, think, and feel.Cooperative Children’s Book Center

In this delightfully original picture book, author Jessica Young takes a fresh look at familiar colors, using them as the foundation for a story that celebrates individuality and the pleasures of living in a world informed by multiple perspectives. . . . Young brings a poetic sensibility to this imaginative tale. . . . Her brief, verse-like sentences are enlivened by Catia Chien’s expressive acrylic illustrations. Together, they’ve created a book that encourages kids to think independently and creatively. Remember: Keep those crayons handy! — BookPage

Blue is sad and red means angry, right? Not for a thoughtful girl who sees colors less conventionally than those around her. . . . Young. . . gently introduces the idea of opposites and invites children to consider the different feelings colors can evoke. — Publishers Weekly

Art teachers will gravitate toward this upbeat title to let children begin to explore the importance of color. . . . 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. — School Library Journal

I love Jessica Young’s My Blue Is Happy! I’m adding it to my list of must-have books to inspire creative thinking. Catia Chien’s vivid art is delightful, while really driving home the book’s much-needed message about thinking beyond stereotypes. Highly recommended not just for art teachers, but for any teacher or parent wanting to inspire children to think more creatively about color, art, and our world.Peter H. Reynolds, author of the Creatrilogy series: The Dot, Ish and Sky Color

There are many books about colors, but this more nuanced look is a welcome addition. . . . 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. — Booklist

My Blue is Happy is a great title for talking with kids about how they view the world, and introducing the notion that we don’t all see things in the same way. This may be a debut, but Young’s confidence in her thesis is strong and her voice follows suit. It’s definitely a title that will spark creativity in even the most seriously grounded youngsters (and grownups). . . . The visuals are strong and impactful, and the message is one that will resonate with kids: being yourself can mean that you have a different view of things, and that’s where the beauty and variety of life reside. For little ones just starting to find their independence, Young’s message is reassuring and supports the importance of individuality. Hey, even librarians don’t agree all the time—though I think most would find My Blue is Happy stands out all on its own. Sprout’s Bookshelf

Besides being heaven-sent for a bedtime story, a library circle or for a gentle introduction of metaphor in a classroom, this work is oddly subversive (maybe the book creators know it, see the little girl winking on the cover?), and surprisingly evocative, both in its beautiful language and Chien’s washy spreads . . . Blue, in this case, is definitely happy, embracing out-of-the-box thinking and the collapse of cliché, this returns proprietary rights to the reaction of color—and the world—back to individuals, where it arguably belongs. — Esmé Raji Codell, author and certified Readiologist™ 

MY BLUE IS HAPPY is a fresh, engaging story that encourages young readers to celebrate seeing the world through their own unique lens. . . . This is a lovely book with an important message that is perfectly written and illustrated in a way that will capture young readers. I highly recommend it. — YA and Kids’ Books Central

I can’t tell you how much I love this book! But here are a few reasons: 1. It introduces similes to young kids in a very easily understood way. 2. It helps them see the world on so many levels. Color has power, emotion, and we all see it differently. 3. It’s a great mentor text that gives kids an easy structure to replicate. 4. It has a great message that everyone sees color in different ways. . . . Kids are amazing and such natural poets. We just have to really listen and pay attention to them. And then expose them to great mentor texts like My Blue is Happy! — Mandy Yates, The Picture Book Academy 

In this cleverly structured book, we get to explore the unique ways in which we each experience colour and emotion. . . . This would be a great book for any budding artists out there or even simply for helping someone scared of the dark to see black in a more reassuring way. It opens up our minds to new ways of seeing the world, and that’s surely a valuable skill for any child to develop. Kids’ Book Review (Whole review here.)

The book is about different ways people think, different colors, and ways the colors can make a person feel good or bad. There are a lot of really great pictures and readable words. The start of the book is really good because the character is thinking differently about the color blue and that made me want to read more. Besides the pictures, this is a book I like to try to read entirely by myself. It’s a happy book to me and I love it! The book is good because there are lots of colors, you get to think about the colors in a lot of different ways, the pictures are good, and colors can make people feel different things. My favorite part of the book is the part about the color pink. I think pink is good and it’s funny that the girl thinks pink is bad because it reminds her of bug bites and gum — which is true, pink does that too! The book is special because I like all of the pictures showing the different colors. I also like that I can read most of the book by myself and then think about the pictures, think about the words, and think about the story. The main person is a girl like me and we both see things differently than other people. 5++ stars Charlotte P., age 5, Denver

Other options for ordering MY BLUE IS HAPPY:

IndieBound     Barnes & Noble     Amazon     Books-A-Million     Powell’s

Canada:

Amazon.ca        Indigo.ca

Activities: Print MY BLUE IS HAPPY resources and activities:

K-2 Teacher Guide and K-2 Activity Sheets

3-5 Teacher Guide and 3-5 Activity Sheets

“My ___ is ___like________.” Activity Sheet