Little Blue and Little Yellow

by Leo Lionni

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, June 14, 2011.
Board Book, 40 pages.
ISBN: 0375872906
Ages 2-4

Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni

Little Blue and Little Yellow is a sturdy board book that will be picked up, enjoyed and loved by any toddler lucky enough to have it. Not only does this classic little book make a story of a splash of blue paint that becomes friends with a splash of yellow paint, it also forms a story of changes and values. This was award-winning artist and author Leo Lionni's first board book, which was re-released in an anniversary edition this year.

In this story, Little Blue lives in a home with Mama and Papa Blue. He has friends of many colors, but his favorite friend is Little Yellow, who lives across the street. Like many friends who like to play together, one day they hugged each other until both turned green. After playing with many other colors, they returned home only to find that their parents were dismayed because they had changed. Crying because their parents were upset caused each little blob to become his original color, which made the parents feel happier. But when the parents of little blue hugged little yellow, they became a little more green. Finally, Little Blue's parents saw what had happened and crossed the street to hug little yellow's parents and this all brought great joy.

One can see many deep meanings in this inspired story. Obviously friends who really like each other do become somewhat alike. And obviously it is a good thing to "rub off" on each other. This can be a story either of how to mix paint colors or how to enjoy other humans who may be different. The adult who enjoys this story with a toddler can feed in lessons on sequence, mixing paint colors or just reaching out to others. A lot of teaching can be included in reading this simple and enjoyable book.

--Sarah Reaves White

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