Based on Linden's (One Smiling Grandma, 1992) own childhood in Barbados, Emerald Blue is a series of vignettes about island life. The narrator describes how she lived with her grandmother and older brother, went to school, milked the goats, nearly got caught in a hurricane. Her uncle was a fisherman who would go out every morning and bring his catch back to Grandma's kitchen. Then the girl's mother came to take her children away with her to America; they never saw their grandmother again. Although the love between grandmother and grandchild shines through these episodes, the fragments aren't substantial enough to satisfy the reader. Aspects of the girl's life are explained, but not in any depth. The illustrations, too, are fuzzy and muted, like the narrative. The whole leaves the reader with a sense of moodiness, nothing more.