Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Cathleen Daly
Illustrator: Lisa Brown
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Emily wants to be an artist, especially when she learns about a famous artist named Pablo Picasso. She wants to change her name to be longer to match his, mix things up like he did and mix things up like he did, even though her own family seems to be in cubes and all mixed up. When she goes to the store with her dad and her little brother, Jack, it is obvious that Jack is having a hard time with their family being mixed up too. Emily starts her blue period because when Pablo Picasso was very sad, he painted in shades of blue. Finally she learns how to make collages and she learns how to get out of her blue period.
At first it seems that this book is going to be about a little girl who loves art, but it soon becomes apparent that it is about much more than that. Emily discovers that she needs to work through her own blue feelings after her parent’s divorce. Because of her love of art, she is able to find a way to make sense of her new family situation. This book would be useful for art lovers, children whose parents are getting a divorce, or classrooms needing to talk about how families are sometimes different. The illustrations and friendly approach make a good effort to talk about this difficult topic for a young audience.