________________ CM . . . . Volume V Number 3 . . . . October 2, 1998

cover Blue.

Michael Hainey. Illustrated by Robert Brook Allen & Leslie Watkins.
Reading, MA: Planet Dexter (Distributed in Canadaby Addison Wesley Longman), 1997.
64 pp, paper (plastic spiral binding), $17.95.
ISBN 0-201-87396-6.

Grades 3 and up / Ages 8 and up.
Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**** /4


What's a blue book? you ask. Well, it's a look at the world of ... blue (you thought we were kidding, didn't you?)

But Blue is also a book unlike any other book. We could go on and on and tell you just why that is - we could go on and on, in fact, until we're blue in the face, but then you'd say we blue you away. And we don't want to do that. Because then yo u wouldn't read the book.

So, instead of us telling you about Blue, we think you would have more fun if we blue out of here and let you read all the un-blue-lievable things we've discovered for you and put in this one Blue book.

image A big blue ribbon for Blue which should be a hit with all those kids who love to "wow" others with their collection of "useless" knowledge, useless, that is, until they are Jeopardy contestants. From its reflective, fish-lens iridescent blu e cover (what other colour could it be?) to its final entry on "Blue Laws," Blue, via pairs of facing pages, explores seemingly everything that could be blue, from the obvious, such as flowers and birds, to the obscure, like "Blue Food," "Blue Rock s" and "America the Bluetiful." [Did you know that 26 of 41 US Presidents have had blue or blue-gray eyes?] An ideal book for the reluctant reader, Blue's brief and delightfully saucy text, often on blue-hued paper, is further enlivened by scads of bright illustrations which range from cartoons to photos of real objects, like the food found on the "blue plate special." To add to reader involvement, Blue contains a series a short, fun quizzes (with answers), and the text sometimes wanders acr oss and around the pages so that readers must reorient the book in order to follow the words. Crossing all subject areas, Blue serves as a model of the potential of integrated learning. Although the book's American origin limits its Canadian conte nt, some principally US-oriented sections, such as "Blue Plates" which identifies the 12 states which do NOT have blue on their official license plates, might motivate young Canadian readers to discover parallel national content. With Blue as the prototype, classes could also explore producing other colour-based books.

Highly recommended.

Having blue-green eyes and favouring blue-coloured clothing, Dave Jenkinson was an obvious reviewer for this book.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364