Book Review: Emily's Blue Period

Author: Cathleen Daly
Illustrator: Lisa Brown
Interest Level: Ages 6 and Up

From the Book Jacket: 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 very sad," says Emily, "he only painted in shades of blue. And now I am in my blue period." It might last quite some time. 

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This is a story of a girl who is struggling with her parent's divorce and living between two homes. As she is studying about Pablo Picasso, she relates to the sadness he once felt in his life. It's hard to cope with dark feelings when you don't know what to do with them. She is inspired through art to find her healing. 

Her art teacher gives the class an assignment to make a collage of their house. But since Emily has two homes she is not sure which one to make. Her mom and little brother remind her a lot of people have more than one home. "Home is where the heart is." Emily is inspired to create a collage that represents her home, not a house. She says, "It's the home of my heart."

That night Emily notices a purple blob in the middle of her collage. She is upset her brother scribbled on the collage. But he shares, "It's not a scribble. It's a purple heart. I think your collage is the home of my heart, too!" This was my favorite part of the story. Both children find healing through her artwork. 

If you are working with children going through family change and they are feeling torn or mixed up about going between two homes - I highly recommend this book. What I love as a counselor is the opportunity it gives me to create a heart collage as part of the healing process. This is bibliotherapy at it's best and great art therapy. 

A Link to This Book and Others You Might Find Helpful: 

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