Jamie, the young boy who narrates this book, tells us about all of the moods he might experience in a day. Irresistibly spirited, Jamie summons images of colors and tastes and sounds to help us know exactly how he is feeling.
Playing basketball with his friends, he is all about orange happiness, which turns to red when he has to rush home because he promised to get back before dark:
Gotta get home!
Even when he’s taking his turn washing dishes after dinner, he finds a way to turn it into rhythm and moods:
Cool, blue okay
Time with myself
In my own space
hands swirling ‘round
In liquid peace
Sailing on waves
In the sky of my mind
A bluesy kind of mood
That’s what I’m in”
This is not the only children’s book to use colors and foods and a musical beat to describe moods. One that instantly comes to mind is Yesterday I Had the Blues, by author Jeron Ashford Frame, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.
That book also features a young African American male narrator who describes his days using different colors.
I don’t think I would even try to choose between the two. In fact, I think it would be a great idea to find both of the books and read them together. That way kids could see the effects of using different metaphors, fonts, rhythms and illustration styles to convey similar ideas, and they might be inspired to add their own thoughts to the mix! Can they identify the changes in color and rhythm and line that vary along with the moods? How might they describe their own feelings? Which book do they think better captures the vicissitudes of temperament?
Evaluation: My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood is another winning addition to the subcategory of books that helps kids describe and understand their changing feelings. The text has the right amount of humor and warmth, even with “bad” moods, and illustrator Shane Evans employs digital collage enhanced with oil paints and graphite to capture the emotions of kids perfectly.
Published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), Inc., 2013