They Say Blue

Caldecott and Printz Honor-winning illustrator Jillian Tamaki shares the story of colour and nature from a young child’s point of view.

Jillian Tamaki

Caldecott and Printz Honor-winning illustrator Jillian Tamaki brings us a poetic exploration of colour and nature from a young child's point of view. They Say Blue follows a young girl as she contemplates colours in the known and the unknown, in the immediate world and the world beyond what she can see. The sea looks blue, yet water cupped in her hands is as clear as glass. Is a blue whale blue? She doesn't know — she hasn't seen one.

Stunningly beautiful illustrations flow from one spread to the next, as time passes and the imagination takes hold. The world is full of colour, and mystery too, in this first picture book from a highly acclaimed artist. (From Groundwood)

They Say Blue won the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — illustrated books.

From the Governor General's Literary Awards jury: "They Say Blue is a wonderful blend of words and art, a sweeping, joyous book from cover to cover. Its lively and dynamic compositions are sure to captivate both children and those who love to read to children. Wonderfully uplifting and imaginative, it spans an entire range of emotions and colours and makes one's heart sing."

Tamaki created a comic strip called This Face for the special CBC Books series Borders.

They Say Blue is a finalist for the $50,000 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. The winner will be announced on  Oct. 15, 2019.

From the book

An interior image from They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki. (Jillian Tamaki/Groundwood Books)


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