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Yesterday I Had the Blues


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About the Author

JERON ASHFORD FRAME was given the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer award for this lovely, imaginative, text. She lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with her family.

R. GREGORY CHRISTIE is a three-time recipient of the American Library Association's Corretta Scott King Award honor and illustrator of Tricycle Press' A CHANCE TO SHINE. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


In this upbeat tale, moods may color the way people look at the world, but family togetherness trumps all. Debut author Frame and the consistently masterful Christie (Only Passing Through) riff on the range of human emotions with the agility of longtime collaborators, and the result is a book that truly sings. "Yesterday I had the blues," begins the African-American boy narrator. "Those deep down in my shoes blues,the go away, Mr. Sun, quit smilin' at me blues." But today is definitely looking up. "I got the greens. The runnin' my hand along the hedges greens. ... The kind of greens make you want to be Somebody." Jaunty, irregular typography acts as tempo and dynamic markings, underscoring the musicality of Frame's text. The boy then muses on the states of mind of everyone in his family, a subject well suited to Christie's visual finesse. The artist's off-kilter perspectives and playfully skewed proportions reinforce the intensity and fluidity of mood swings, while the array of saturated, textured hues infuse each spread with emotional depth. Christie attributes Daddy's case of "the grays" to a parking ticket, older sister Tania performs her "indigo" funk to the hilt. Other moods will be all too recognizable to readers (when Mama spots her younger children bouncing on the bed, she gets the reds"Look out!"). It's clear that in this family, even when moods are mercurial, love enduresand that, says the boy, makes life "all golden." Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Gr 1-4-From his own "blues" to Gram's cheery "yellows" to Mama's "reds" ("Look out!"), a young boy describes the ever-changing moods of the people he loves, divulging that no matter what, his family always makes him feel "like it's all golden." Dynamic paintings in vivid hues reflect each emotional nuance. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

- Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award
- Nick Jr. Family Magazine Best Book of the Year
- Claudia Lewis Award --Bank Street College of Education
- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 2003 Blue Ribbon
- 2004 Best of the Best List--Chicago Public Library
- 2004 Carolyn W. Field Award Honor Book--Pennsylvania Library Association
- Featured on the PBS/WGBH show "Between the Lions" "Debut author Frame and consistently masterful Christie riff on the range of human emotions with the agility of longtime collaborators, and the result is a book that truly sings." -Publishers Weekly "Readers and listeners alike will enthusiastically respond to this book and instantly identify with the sentiments expressed." -School Library Journal "This is a dramatic partnership of text and images with strong curricular uses, and it will give young readers and listeners a simple way to express feelings and emotions that may often leave them wordless." -Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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