February 23, 2015

Hidden Gem, BLUE ON BLUE By Dianne White

       It feels wonderful to get back writing a BOOK WISDOM post.  Last year, I took a sabbatical to work on my manuscripts.  Blogging, photography, and anything else not fitting with my goals disappeared. The opportunity to teach art half time to elementary students in an award winning STEM magnet school was my only deviation during my sabbatical.  Beyond the bonus of hanging out with kids and a steady paycheck, I use children's literature regularly.  
      Several weeks ago, I picked up a new hidden gem, BLUE ON BLUE a debut book by author DIANNE WHITE, illustrated by Caldecott winner Beth Krommes.  I renewed the book after reading it nearly a dozen times. The writing compelled me to contact the author and share my feelings about her work.

     BLUE ON BLUE is a fiction picture book that shares the simple course of a day and the impact of a rainstorm from a child's point of view.  Although a simple theme, the lyrical text and complimentary art transport the reader into the story with perhaps some memories of their own experiences with summer storms bubbling up as they read. WHITE'S showing of the summer storm experience involves only 118 words.  Rain on rain on rain is a repeated phrase echoing how the child feels.  WHITE'S text feels like a summer rainstorm as it produces changes in atmosphere, light, color, sounds while building and releasing tension.  Illustrations of watercolor on scratchboard capture the power of line and its' ability to create a unified tone that cradle the words. 

    Krommes' illustrations are simple and complex asking the reader to look deeper into story they show.  The text and art compliment each other making this book a vivid sensory experience. In a world of modern fast paced picture books aiming to entertain short attention spans, BLUE ON BLUE refreshed me. 

I give this picture book for ages 2-6, five apples, cream of the crop. 

BLUE ON BLUE has a perfect theme for this age group who are learning about their world. Descriptive words roll off the readers tongue making it fun to read.  It would make a wonderful gift or addition to a classroom or library.  

You can find out more about author DIANNE WHITE at her website, Diannewrites.

DIANNE WHITE has lived and traveled around the world and now calls Arizona home. She holds an elementary bilingual teaching credential and a master's in Language and
Literacy. In 2007, she received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults

from Vermont College of Fine Arts. After teaching students of all ages for 25 years, she now writes full-time. Her first picture book, BLUE ON BLUE, illustrated by 2009 Caldecott winner, Beth Krommes, was published by Beach Lane Books (S&S) in 2014.

You can find or order this book at your local independent bookseller.  It can also be found online.