Blue Rider

illus. by Geraldo Valério. 44p. Groundwood. Mar. 2018. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781554989812.
K-Gr 2—Colors and shapes dominate the imaginative romp of a city girl. The wordless story opens with a child peering out of her high-rise apartment. She ventures outdoors into mobs of busy people of all ages, and comes upon an abandoned blue book featuring a jumping horse on its cover. She embraces it, takes it home, and reads it in her stark bedroom. Valério gives viewers a close-up of the steed with rainbow mane and tail. The heroine imagines the horse flying over the city, dropping brightly colored shapes across the sky like confetti. As the horse speeds up on following spreads, the shapes grow larger and more varied until they finally block out the horse entirely. Several pages follow, each overflowing with abstract blocks that finally release the horse, with the child on its back. At last, she is shown asleep in her room, which is now transformed with the shapes and colors she's dreamed up. The contrast of the city's earth tones and repetitive shapes deftly contrasts with the bliss of brightness that comes later.
VERDICT Art teachers should employ this for student inspiration.

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