Chase those dreary blues away!
Everybody gets the blues sometimes—dogs and cats, moms and dads, even tiny babies. Just take a look around. If you help someone else who’s feeling sad, you might find that your blues are gone. Or maybe the Blues Guy will come along, to listen or sing the blues with you and sit by your side. A native of New Orleans, Leslie Staub wrote this story after experiencing Hurricane Katrina. Yet this book’s rhythmic, bluesy text and hip, eye-catching illustrations are just right for anyone who’s ever felt those mysterious feelings of sadness—then found that hope and sunnier skies are close at hand.
- Age Range: 4 – 8 years
- Grade Level: Preschool – 3
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (January 10, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0152063005
- ISBN-13: 978-0152063009
- Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 9.1 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
In this subtle offering, a young boy explores the fact that everyone feels sad at times. Accompanied by Blues Guy, a sad-eyed man with a slumped demeanor and a trumpet, the two discover that everyone gets the blues—rodeo clowns, bullies, beauty queens, and even animals. They commiserate together, singing “I’ve got the blues so bad, / I want to cry, cry, cry, / I feel so bad and mad and sad inside!” The story comes full circle when the boy’s blues have gone, tears have dried up, and things look a whole lot brighter. Roth’s washed illustrations—hand drawn, combined with collage, and designed in Photoshop—perfectly reflect the soulful, searching tone of the story. The interweaving of feeling the blues and blues music might be a challenging concept for a young child to grasp; choose your audience wisely, and pair this with Jamie Lee Curtis’ Today I Feel Silly: Other Moods That Make My Day (1998) and Michael Rosen’s Michael Rosen’s Sad Book (2005). Grades K-2. –Linda Sawyer
About the Author
Leslie Staub is the illustrator of the bestselling Whoever You Are by Mem Fox and the author/illustrator of Bless This House. As a native of New Orleans, she wrote Everybody Gets the Blues after living through the Katrina disaster. She now resides an hour north in Folsom, Louisiana.
R.G. Roth is the illustrator of This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt, which was a Nick Jr. Magazine Best Book, and a variety of other picture books. He lives in Hudson, Ohio, with his wife and two daughters.