Wednesday, April 23, 2008

In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck; illustrations by Tricia Tusa

In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck, illustrated by Tricia Tusa.

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books (April 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 015205992X
ISBN-13: 978-0152059927

It's past Alice's bedtime, and she insists she can only sleep in a blue room. Luckily, her loving mother knows just what to do to get her little one to sleep, from bringing her lilacs and lilywhites to hanging lullaby bells in her window. Before you know it, Alice is fast asleep, her room drowned in the pale blue light of the moon.

This soothing new bedtime story will lull even the most bedtime-resistant children to sleep. I especially love Jim Averbeck's technique of showing Alice's progression of being wide awake and jumping on the bed to slowly drifting off to sleep:
"Mama tiptoes in.
'I have lullaby bells to sing you to sleep.'
'Blue...,' sighs Alice, 'only'
Mama smiles. "

Tricia Tusa's soft and whimsical illustrations are simply divine and perfectly complement the warm tone of the text. They also have Ms. Bird at Fuse #8 making early Caldecott predictions.

In just a few short pages, Jim Averbeck successfully shows us the tenderness between a mother and daughter and even gives us a glimpse of our place in the world.

This is absolutely one of the best picture books I've seen this year, and it's going to keep a prominent spot on my daughter's bookshelf.

What other bloggers are saying:

Shelf Elf: "For sleepy heads, dreamers, and the grown ups who tuck them in. Bring your own flowers, tea, quilts and lullaby bells." Read the rest here.

Seven Imp: "This is an ethereal little gem of a book that works as a bedtime charmer, and if you’re one looking for curricular connections, this is a nice choice for books about the five senses as well." Read the rest here.

A Year of Reading: "The book is what it needs to do -- soothing, quieting, calming. I daresay Mama is feeling much better by the end as well." Read the rest here.

Be sure to stop by on Friday because I will be posting my recent interview with Jim Averbeck himself. Find out where he got the idea for In a Blue Room, who Alice is named after, and more.


  1. Thanks for including my review. I like the way you did the links with a quote! I'll be trying that in the future!!!

  2. I love this book. I'm glad to see that so many other people do too.

  3. Mary Lee--Thanks so much!

    Susan--Yay! I'm glad you liked it, too!