Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Emily’s Blue Period

Emily’s Blue Period

Cathleen Daly
Illustrator:  Lisa Brown 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Roaring Brook Press, 2014   ISBN: 978-1596434691

Emily loves art and she hopes that one day she will be able to be a proper artist. At school she is learning about Pablo Picasso and she is curious about his pictures, some of which are rather strange looking. Apparently Picasso liked to “mix things up.”

   Emily’s life is feeling rather mixed up these days because her parents are no longer living in the same house. Emily’s father now lives in an apartment a few streets away. One day Emily and her little brother Jack go out with their father to help him pick out new furniture. Jack starts acting out in the store, refusing to come out from behind a sofa. In the end Dad has to carry Jack out and he is like a “silent bag of potatoes that looks like a boy.”

   Jack is not the only one who is having a hard time. Emily is feeling so glum that she refuses to do an art project at school. When her mother finds out about this, she asks Emily to tell her what is going on. Emily explains that she cannot do the project because it requires her to draw with charcoal. Charcoal creates pictures that are black or grey and Emily is in her “blue period.” Like Picasso Emily is only going to paint using shades of blue because she is sad.

   One day Emily’s teacher tells the class about collage and she asks the children to create a collage of their home. Emily has no idea what to do. She has two homes. Which one should be represent in her collage?

    Divided up into five short ‘chapters,’ this special picture book explores how one little girl finds ways to come to terms with the changes that are taking place in her personal life. Through her art she finds ways to express herself, and creating art also helps her to better understand where she stands in her changing world.