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Little Blue and Little Yellow: 01/17/16

Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni

Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni is an open ended picture book. At it's most basic level it's about color mixing. It's also though about friendship, love, family, and prejudice.

Blue and Yellow are friends. They play every day together. One day they get a bit too rough and tumble and end up mixing together, thus both becoming green. They go home to their parents are heartbroken to see that their parents no longer recognize them!

Littlest kids will come away learning that blue and yellow make green, blue and red make purple, red and yellow make green, and all together make brown.

Older readers will see beyond the color mixing. Anyone whose been in a relationship will know that knowing a person intimately will have profound personal affects. The two become more alike. Families don't always agree and they can reject their children rather than accept the new person. Parents who do welcome the new person in, are also affected by the relationship, though not as strongly or directly.

Sapphire and Ruby embrace in a scene from Steven Universe.

When re-reading this book now as an adult, I was reminded of a modern rendition of this metaphor of mixing colors for a relationship. I'm talking about Garnet, a character on Steven Universe who happens to be a fusion of two other gems: Ruby and Sapphire. She is a relationship just as Green is a relationship of Blue and Yellow.

Four stars

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