Red Is Not Angry, Blue Is Not Sad

Silliness abounds but wisdom prevails in this vibrant picture book about the fallacy of labeling people based on the way they look--or what color sweater they wear.

When Fox shows up in a blue sweater at a forest gathering of his friends, they are immediately concerned: "Oh no! Fox, what's wrong?!" cries Bear. "You poor, poor thing..." Squirrel shakes his head. "Maybe you'll feel better if you talk to us about it," suggests Deer. Perplexed, Fox soon learns that his friends believe his blue sweater reflects his mood: blue is sad, red is angry, yellow is happy, and so on. They force colorful sweaters on him as he cycles through his moods in response to their insistence on labeling him. Finally, Fox is able to set his friends straight: "Where in the world did you get all these ideas?! I like red apples, but that doesn't mean I'm angry! And my favorite color is blue, but that doesn't mean I'm sad."

Spanish authors Alicia Acosta and Luis Amavisca (I Love My Colorful Nails) have returned with the gently instructive Red Is Not Angry, Blue Is Not Sad, endearingly illustrated by Anuska Allepuz (Zebra's Umbrella), also from Spain. Their message of the importance of resisting assumptions will go down easily with young readers, even as they laugh at the animal friends' goofy notions. Allepuz's satisfyingly textured artwork decorates the spare, grayscale forest imagery around the expressive animals with splotches and smudges of color. Using the simplest lines, Allepuz imbues characters with personality and emotion. This charming picture book is likely to inspire thought and conversation about colors, feelings, and preconceived ideas. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

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