Review Blog

Oct 10 2017

Danny Blue's really excellent dream by Max Landrak

cover image

Hachette, 2017. ISBN 9780734417589
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Blue, Colour, Change, Invention. A quick flip through this book shows readers that blue is the predominant colour for most of the book, while more colours creep in towards the end, and the endpapers at the start show only various chades of blues while the last endpaper shows the whole colour spectrum. So kids' interest will be piqued and they will want to know about Danny and why his last name is Blue.
Danny lives in a world of blue. There is nothing in his world which is not blue. He eats blueberries out of a blue bowl with a blue fork, he wears a blue striped shirt, he lives in Blue York, his favourite band is The Blues Brothers, his favourite food, blueberries and his favourite colour sunset blue! One night in his blue bed he dreams about the blue whale, but suddenly the whale isn't blue anymore. Danny does not have the words to describe what he has seen in his dream, and despite being sent to Dr Indigo, and playing his blues guitar and eating blue cheese, he cannot get the new colour out of his head, so he decides to make it. He uses his chemistry set to make up the colour he has seen, and tries to share it with others. But they are not so sure: some do not like it at all, some are baffled by it, some think it the worst thing ever, but every now and again the non blue colour turns up in the most unexpected places, until it becomes accepted. But then comes the problem of a name . . .
This lovely tale of invention and change will cause ripples of laughter from the audience as they read of the blueness of Danny's world, and his attempts to bring about change. In doing this he accepts that people are unhappy about change but by simply presenting what he has seen, change does occur, from something small to something more widely accepted. People are encouraged to move outside their comfort zone and accept something new.
This delightful book, like a fable, will engender much discussion and little fingers will love looking a the various shades and hues of blue and the way the illustrations reflect the sameness at the start and the beginnings off change towards the last few pages.
Fran Knight

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