Emily wants to be an artist. She likes painting and loves the way artists like Pablo Picasso mixed things up.
Emily's life is a little mixed up right now. Her dad doesn't live at home anymore, and it feels like everything around her is changing.
"When Picasso was sad for a while," says Emily, "he only painted in blue. And now I am in my blue period."
It might last quite some time.
A Neal Porter Book
Daly (Prudence Wants a Pet) offers a picture book with a middle-grade sensibility, examining the way that creating art can help dispel distress in this case, the sadness that accompanies parental separation. Emily is already interested in art when her teacher introduces the class to Picasso: "Things in his paintings weren't where you'd expect them to be." When Emily's father moves into his own apartment, things aren't where Emily expects them to be, either. Holding a book about Picasso like a shield, she tells her mother why she can't complete her art project: "I am in my blue period." Brown (29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy) keeps her pencil and watercolor drawings simple and lucid, while Daly ably balances sentimentality and wit, as when Emily discovers Picasso's long full name and renames herself "Emily Emilia Rosita Jenny... Igor de la Eyeball Montoya Fluffy Pinchner." When Emily is able at last to make a collage about her home, Daly conveys believable affection without sinking into soppiness. Ages 4 7.