An intelligently designed picture book that patently delivers themes of diversity, tolerance and self-acceptance.
Blue, a “ginormous” blue bear, tries to copy everything his orange-colored bird friend, Mango, does. But when Blue inadvertently ruins Mango’s nest and then nearly squashes her when he tries to fly, Mango has had enough. She soars away to be on her own, only to find that her solitude doesn’t fulfill her as friendship does. The gray-colored type of the story’s text, the contrasting colors of Blue and Mango, and the variously colored letters spelling the title on its cover underscore one of the book’s themes— diversity. The numerous double-page spreads laced with expansive white space visually emphasize another—the wide-open mindset of tolerance. The story arc follows these visual clues as Mango tires of her solitude and returns to find Blue, snuggling down into his fur when she does. Claiming him as “My copycat bear,” she makes readers understand that she has accepted him for who he is, annoying quirks and all. The final endpaper delivers one more message—that of self-acceptance. Blue, who has always accepted his proclivity to try to do bird things, is shown “helping” Mango as she plucks worms from the ground.
A charming story with overt but entirely worthwhile messages. (Picture book. 3-6)