RED YELLOW BLUE by Lysa Mullady


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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A text-heavy metanarrative about emotions and friendship.

The three primary colors (and characters), Red, Yellow, and Blue, spend time together, but Red is prone to outbursts and does not want to be involved in the business of Yellow or Blue. As Red grumpily pushes Yellow and Blue away, he realizes what he misses out on in isolation: the ability to make different colors such as orange and purple and the chance for friendship. With an apology, Red is able to rejoin forces with Yellow and Blue to make a sunset. Although the primary lesson is about collaboration, each color also celebrates what they can accomplish on their own. Fans of Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld’s Friendshape (2015) or Michael Hall’s Perfect Square (2011) may find this title complementary. White negative space makes pill bug–shaped Red, sunburst-shaped Yellow, and raindrop-shaped Blue pop, drawing eyes right to the illustrations. Plain, serif black text feels crowded and at odds with the sparse page design and playful illustrations, which sometimes stretch from verso to recto. In some spreads, the text disrupts the playful art it is supposed to be working with. Even though the narrative might not seem novel and the art does seem occasionally clunky, it comes with a potentially useful note to adults on how to use the book to promote self-esteem and forgiveness.

Color science and emotional literacy go fairly well together. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 6th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4338-3030-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2019