A Blue Kind of Day

Listening Library. Apr. 2022. 9p. $22. ISBN 9780593508954.
K-Gr 4–Psychologist/author Tomlinson introduces a child navigating his “blue” mood in a thoughtful, all-Australian collaboration. Indigenous Australian Tori-Jay Mordey illustrated the book, her art inspired by her own multiracial background. Australian Aboriginal actor/narrator Shari Sebbens, too, shares the characters’ heritage: to savor Sebbens’s resonating performance with an open book reveals Coen’s father presenting as white, and his mother drawn with brown skin. Sebbens is an empathic cipher as Coen faces “a deep, murky kind of blue that made [him] feel trapped.” Sebbens infuses his mother’s “It can’t be that bad” with anxious worry, his father’s “Let’s go outside” with concerned cheer, his sister’s “You don’t look sick!” with energetic doubt. Coen can’t “find the words to describe why everything felt so wrong,” but his family’s quiet support helps him out of his “blanket cocoon.”
VERDICT Every library could benefit from stocking multiple formats of this gentle guide to tough emotions.

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