If you’ve read this blog for a minute, you’ll know that I love Lindsay Ward’s books. From Brobarians to Dexter T. Rexter, and all the books in between, I love her storytelling and her artwork, and I’ve been able to get kids to laugh out loud along with the world’s most neurotic dinosaur, marvel at a tractor who pitched in during World War II, and extend a hand to friends who may be feeling… well, a little gray. So a chance to read her latest book? Count me in, please!
A young boy remembers when all the colors “were swept from our street”. His community loses their connection to one another and as they do, the vibrancy fades. A storm sweeps away the last “hints of bluebird skies and lemon-Popsicle days”, leaving a divide that feels almost impossible to breach. The adults seem content to move around in this faded haze, but the boy wants color back in his world, and sets out to make changes.
Lindsay Ward has beautifully captured how to explain what is going on in our world, on a larger scale, to children. In a world without color, compartmentalized and without diversity, a dull landscape fills the void. Where we had laughter, we have silence. In three words – “Lines were drawn” – we get a mental image of our world today, divided along lines of color, beliefs, opinions. Her artwork communicates the story, with soft color heralding the fade; the storm rains down on the neighborhood, taking with it what little vibrancy remained, and leaving only black and white lines. Bringing color back, we have a rainbow of people and landscapes, happy once more. Can we get there? We have to hope. Lindsay Ward empowers children with her latest story: they have the power to bring color back into their world.
Essential to read, essential to discuss.