Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Yesterday I Had the Blues

by Jeron Ashford Frame; illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. This is a book you practically have to sing or chant or dance. It trips off your tongue like a jump rope song.

Yesterday I had the blues.
Not the rain on the sidewalk blues,
Or the broken skateboard blues,
Or the outgrew my favorite football jersey blues.

Not even the Monday morning.
Cold cereal instead of pancakes blues.
Uh-uh,
I had those deep down in my shoes blues,
The go away, Mr. Sun,
Quit smilin’ at me blues.

The hold a pillow,
Wish it was tomorrow blues.
The kind of blues
make you wanna just
turn
down
the
volume.

But today I got the greens.
The runnin’ my hand along the hedges greens.

The down to the drugstore
and beyond,
dirt in my socks
greens.

The kind of
greens make you
want to be somebody.

It goes on through everyone in the family. Daddy has the Grays (lines between his eyes, lookin’ at his watch grays); Sasha has the pinks (“The kind of pinks make me want to catch the next bus”, he says); Talia has the indigos (“saxophone in the subway indigos. The hair hangin’ loose, write a poem that don’t rhyme indigos”); Gram has the yellows, (the mix up some oatmeal raisin cookies I hope yellows); and Mama has the reds (Look out!). But in the end that is all OK because together they are a family; and it’s the “kind of family makes you feel like it’s all golden”. I love the way everyone’s mood is described with color and movement and flavor. This younger brother communicates his insight into every member of this family with his rainbow descriptions. The strength of their bonds and their love shines out. The illustrations are by R. Gregory Christie, whose style I have said is not my favorite. In this book his use of color is delightful even though I still don’t like the way the figures are drawn. The text and pictures go together very well and this book is fun to read. Highly recommend.

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1 comment:

Poor_Statue said...

Sounds great. That might have to be my next book purchase.