From Ted Edinger: Did you have a bedtime routine as a child? I did (I’m a little OCD…routine is my middle name!) Brush teeth, say goodnight to my mom, dad, & sister, check my closet for monsters, say goodnight to all my stuffed animals, check my closet for monsters again, say my prayers (including that there were no monsters in my closet), and then pull my covers over my head. At that point…I was finally ready to sleep. Enter today’s title In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck author & Tricia Tusa illustrator.
Alice was far from sleeping In a Blue Room (which I must admit… this title totally confused me ‘til almost the end of the book!!! DUH! I’m OCD & SLOW!!! Ha ha). As her mother brought her items to aid in sleep, they did not satisfy her need for “blue.” Slowly though, Alice begins to fight sleep…still desiring all things blue before she gives up the fight. As her mother turns out the light, Alice gets her wish, and she finds her self in the midst of a blue room. The night shines bright into her room, bathing everything in a beautiful blue light. In a Blue Room, Alice finds sleep.
From an art teacher’s perspective, this book is a great way to introduce monochromatic art. Tuca’s work offers beautiful lines, dream like images, and simplistically wonderful color. As the book resolves, the pages go from the warmth of a child’s bed room to the cool colors of night. It’s a wonderful study for children to grasp the use of monochromatic images in setting a scene/mood. From this example, I’d have my students create a Sharpie line drawing & do a watercolor wash over the entire surface.
In a Blue Room offers much artistically (obviously!). I also feel it is a great way to have students use critical thinking skills. Why is the book called In a Blue Room? How will the room become blue? Why does Alice want the room blue? This can lead to an interesting discussion & develop reasoning. Check it out…the Blog Artist recommends it!