Book Review: Blue Spots

Blue SpotsDetails:

Title: Blue Spots

Author: Nicoline Evans

Illustrator: Senyphine

Publisher: Morris Publishing

Released Date: April 11, 2015

Genre: Children’s book, poetry

Pages: 42

Synopsis:

(As written on goodreads)

Blue Spots is a story for people burdened by sadness. In a city where it takes place, emotional scars appear on the characters as blue spots. In our world, these marks are internal and invisible, but in this book they are external and displayed for all to see. They symbolize the various forms of sorrow a person might encounter during their lifetime. My intention when writing this story was to instill hope. I hope it gives those who live with sadness the courage to persevere through their darkest times.

What I First Thought:

I bought this book with several other books from Nicoline Evans from Philcon in New Jersey this past October. The cover looked beautiful and Nicoline told me about the project she was working on with this book as the first of many. After hearing what she wanted to do, making a children’s book for every emotion, I decided that I wanted to help her out and see this series come to life.

Overall Thoughts/Opinions:

This book was absolutely beautiful and wonderful to read. When I first read it, after buying it from the author herself, it brought tears to my eyes. Being in public, I didn’t want to visibly cry, but boy was it hard to keep my cheeks dry.  The story really spoke to me and the art was breath-taking.

When I read this book a second time, months and several terrible events later, I cried again. Sure, the first time I read this book I had quite a few blue spots myself, but by the time I read it again I had several more and the message really spoke to me.

Growing up I developed a ‘keep calm and carry on’ attitude, which basically meant that I cried when necessary, but if something needed to be done then the tears were saved for later. While this attitude helped me in some situations in which I had to keep my head, it made grieving and handling sadness really hard when I had nothing else to do. And lately, I’ve had a real issue with that. With not much to keep me distracted from my grieving and sadness, I’ve spent an unhealthy amount of time thinking of everything that has lead to my sadness and everything that I could have done differently. This isn’t always a bad thing to do, especially in small doses. However, I haven’t been able to do it in small doses and my pain has only accumulated, making things worse because I can’t let go.

Unfortunately, I see many people do the same. We, as humans, don’t handle grief or sadness very well. Some people try to ignore it while others wear it on their sleeves to get attention from the people around them. Some people even let their blue spots rule their lives, using them as an excuse not to succeed or move on.

After reading this book a second time my outlook of my sadness, my blue spots, has changed. I no longer see them as failures, imperfections, or reminders of sadder events. I now see these as proof that I have survived my grief, reminders that I’ve grown stronger as an individual. And I believe the message of this book is one that every child and adult alike should learn, that sadness is just another small part of the larger story that is your life. So if one day you’re completely covered in blue, you can say to the world that you have lived and survived all that was thrown your way.

The illustrations for this book were amazing! They kind of reminded me some of Tim Burton’s style of drawing, where the characters were long limbed and the surroundings had a lot of curling lines and designs. I really liked that Senyphine made the heads larger than normal portions, seeming to focus more on their faces, which is usually the first thing we see of a person or where we focus. The coloring in this book was beautiful too. The shades and colors really matched the mood and added to the story as well.

Final Thoughts:

Read this to your kids! Read this to your friends. Read this to your parents. Read this to your lover. Read this to yourself. Find an excuse to buy the book and read it! The message is absolutely wonderful, one that I wish I had learned sooner, and is applicable to any age. While it looks and reads like a children’s book, any adult would enjoy it too. The poetry is masterful and the illustrations go so well with the story, from the designs to the coloring. This book is absolutely perfect and I would love to see more of this from Nicoline Evans.

Ratings:

Story: 5/5

Fantastic and easy to follow. The story is beautiful and shows the readers a lesson that may appear to be simple, but many people either never learn or forget over time. It brought tears to my eyes and I’m sure it will bring many more as I read it as a reminder to myself. I believe this would make for an outstanding gift to any child, or a thoughtful one to any person you know going through a hard time.

Illustrations: 5/5

I’ve already spoken a lot for the artwork in this book. Senyphine is a wonderful artist with a style that I would love to see again in other books! Her coloring and detailing were superb, making every page harder to look away from, but I wanted to see more and more. I still want to see more of their work!

Related Books/Reviews:

nightmare before christmas

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