They Say Blue

They Say Blue

Written by: Tamaki, Jillian
Illustrated by: Tamaki, Jillian
ages 0 to 3 / grades P to K

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Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books

New York Public Library Best Books for Kids 2018

Caldecott and Printz Honor-winning illustrator Jillian Tamaki brings us a poetic exploration of colour and nature from a young child’s point of view. They Say Blue follows a young girl as she contemplates colours in the known and the unknown, in the immediate world and the world beyond what she can see. The sea looks blue, yet water cupped in her hands is as clear as glass. Is a blue whale blue? She doesn’t know — she hasn’t seen one.

Stunningly beautiful illustrations flow from one spread to the next, as time passes and the imagination takes hold. The world is full of colour, and mystery too, in this first children's book from a highly acclaimed artist.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.7
With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.4
Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.6
Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.5
Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.7
Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)

Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books

New York Public Library Best Books for Kids 2018

Caldecott and Printz Honor-winning illustrator Jillian Tamaki brings us a poetic exploration of colour and nature from a young child’s point of view. They Say Blue follows a young girl as she contemplates colours in the known and the unknown, in the immediate world and the world beyond what she can see. The sea looks blue, yet water cupped in her hands is as clear as glass. Is a blue whale blue? She doesn’t know — she hasn’t seen one.

Stunningly beautiful illustrations flow from one spread to the next, as time passes and the imagination takes hold. The world is full of colour, and mystery too, in this first children's book from a highly acclaimed artist.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.7
With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.4
Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.6
Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.5
Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.7
Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Aug 2, 2022
Specifications 40 pages | 7 in x 7 in
Written By

JILLIAN TAMAKI is a cartoonist and illustrator from Calgary, Alberta, who now lives in Toronto, Ontario. Her first picture book, They Say Blue, won the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, among many other accolades. She co-created the highly acclaimed graphic novels Skim and This One Summer with Mariko Tamaki, and she is the creator of the webcomic SuperMutant Magic Academy, and Boundless, a collection of short comics for adults. She has won many awards for her work, including a Caldecott Honor, a Printz Honor, the Eisner Award, the Doug Wright Award and the Ignatz Award. Her work has also been named to the list of New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books.

Illustrated by

JILLIAN TAMAKI is a cartoonist and illustrator from Calgary, Alberta, who now lives in Toronto, Ontario. Her first picture book, They Say Blue, won the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, among many other accolades. She co-created the highly acclaimed graphic novels Skim and This One Summer with Mariko Tamaki, and she is the creator of the webcomic SuperMutant Magic Academy, and Boundless, a collection of short comics for adults. She has won many awards for her work, including a Caldecott Honor, a Printz Honor, the Eisner Award, the Doug Wright Award and the Ignatz Award. Her work has also been named to the list of New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books.

Written By

JILLIAN TAMAKI is a cartoonist and illustrator from Calgary, Alberta, who now lives in Toronto, Ontario. Her first picture book, They Say Blue, won the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, among many other accolades. She co-created the highly acclaimed graphic novels Skim and This One Summer with Mariko Tamaki, and she is the creator of the webcomic SuperMutant Magic Academy, and Boundless, a collection of short comics for adults. She has won many awards for her work, including a Caldecott Honor, a Printz Honor, the Eisner Award, the Doug Wright Award and the Ignatz Award. Her work has also been named to the list of New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books.

Illustrated by

JILLIAN TAMAKI is a cartoonist and illustrator from Calgary, Alberta, who now lives in Toronto, Ontario. Her first picture book, They Say Blue, won the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, among many other accolades. She co-created the highly acclaimed graphic novels Skim and This One Summer with Mariko Tamaki, and she is the creator of the webcomic SuperMutant Magic Academy, and Boundless, a collection of short comics for adults. She has won many awards for her work, including a Caldecott Honor, a Printz Honor, the Eisner Award, the Doug Wright Award and the Ignatz Award. Her work has also been named to the list of New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books.

Audience ages 0 to 3 / grades P to K
Key Text Features

illustrations; speech bubbles

“Attuned to a child’s psychology and patterns of critical thinking, this visually stunning work is a must-purchase for libraries.” —School Library Journal

“Thinking, imagining, noticing — these, Tamaki suggests, are the tools we have to understand our world.” —Publisher's Weekly

“With her first picture book, Jillian Tamaki displays a mastery of the form along with a sensitive understanding of the imaginative life of a small child.” —Quill and Quire

“Readers experience the colors and sensations of the world through the varying moods and observations of one little girl. . . .this is a reminder to slow down, savor the present, notice small details, and relish childlike wonder.” —Kirkus Reviews

“If They Say Blue is ‘about’ anything, it’s a peek into a child’s curious, questing, observant mind as she moves beyond received wisdom — what is it ‘they’ say again? — to thinking and feeling and yearning for herself.” —New York Times

“The illustrations also clearly communicate the wide emotional landscape experienced by young children . . .The language is lyrical and soothingly . . . a wonderful book to use when investigating colour and seasons and the bigger world around us as well as exploring the emergence of critical thinking in children.” —Resource Links