Saturday, August 15, 2009

Book Review: In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck and Tricia Tusa

Book: In a Blue Room
Author: Jim Averbeck
Illustrator: Tricia Tusa
Published: 2008

It's bedtime, but Alice can't sleep, not until her room is blue all over. Mama brings flowers, tea, a blanket, and bells to soothe her daughter to sleep. Though none of them are blue, they all contribute to Alice's growing drowsiness. And she finally gets her blue room from an unexpected source.

I love books that utilize all five senses without being overbearing about it, and Averbeck builds the book around a gentle sensation in each one. While the text isn't written in the rhyming-couplet format that you so often see in picture books, there's a poetic flow about the words that rocks listeners off to sleep, like this:
In a blue room
yellow bells on black strings
chime softly in the window breeze.
Alice yawns,
almost gone.
Tricia Tusa uses ink, watercolor, and gouache for the illustrations, which use a warm color palette (at least in the first three-quarters of the book) and soft, flexible lines to create a cozy atmosphere. And I have to say, when I turned the page and found the blue room, my jaw dropped. Wowee.

A perfect book for bedtime. I'm feeling a little sleepy myself.

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