In a free-wheeling style and going far beyond the usual pairings of colors with moods, Jamie describes his day’s emotional path.
He begins on the sofa, bopping to music from his headphones: “I’m in a mood… / A being kind of mood… / A purple kind of mood / Cold-plum eating / Grape-juice drinking / On the couch / Bobbing to the beat kind of mood.” Pushy, mocking older brothers send Jamie stomping into “a gray kind of place / Storm brewing inside / That I hide / ’Cause I don’t want any trouble space / Dark and swelling / Looming / Gloomy gray kind of place.” But at the basketball court, Jamie’s competence reigns: “Fake left, slide right / Swish! and swish! / Sweet orange mood.” Evans’ digital collages, made with oil paint and graphite, buzz with motion and angle. Figures have lively eyes and eyebrows but awkwardly immobile mouths. Most spreads emphasize multiple versions of one hue (cool and warm purples; cool and warm yellows), while clothing and the browns of skin and hair provide highlights. A cheerful family meal and some peaceful dishwashing bring Jamie back full circle to his “living, breathing / Cold-plum eating / Being kind of mood,” a realistically complex combination of pleasure, security and centeredness. This isn’t the easiest scansion to read aloud, but it’s worth it.
Figurative and grounded—a nicely sophisticated exploration. (Picture book. 4-8)