Archive | May 24, 2024















Laura Dockrill

Lauren Child

Walker, 2024

40pp., hbk., RRP $A27.99


Today I am grey.

I don’t feel sunshine yellow, or balloon orange bright, or treetop green…”

Or, indeed, any of the other colours of nature that surround me.  Today I am grey like the scribble on the page, the puddle on the road, the storm when in the clouds…

And that’s fine.  It’s  OK to be grey. Grey days are normal and natural  but the colours are still inside you, they’re just a little overwhelmed right now . They will peek out and come back soon.

This is a charming book exploring those feelings we all have, and its simple, direct text combined with Lauren Child’s iconic illustrations including clever cutouts offers the child not only validation of their emotions but also reassurance and hope that the brighter days are close by.  It also provides the little one with a way of expressing their feelings as often they don’t have the words to articulate either the how or the why of their mood.  

Colour is used to express  emotions across languages and cultural traditions, and particular colours are associated with various feelings regardless of our beliefs or origins.  We feel blue, see red, or we are green with envy and while this could be an area to investigate, perhaps for this intended audience it is the metaphorical use of the language that could be fun.  Little ones don’t necessarily need to know adult words like “simile” and “metaphor” but how engaging is the phrase “as grey as tea when it’s gone cold” or “lullaby blue”?  What fun they could have sharing their own favourites and how rich their language and writing will become.

But for all that, this is a story that tells our little ones that no matter how they feel, the feelings are natural and the adults in their lives will understand and love them regardless.  And that’s a message they need to hear over and over again.