October 29, 2019

A Day So Gray

By Marie Lamba, illustrated by Alea Marley
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The font colors of the title on this book’s cover—monochromatic letters, save for the rainbow-hued letters in the word “gray”—gives readers an indication of the colorful adventure in store.

Two friends stare out the window on a snowy winter’s day, donning their coats, hats and earmuffs. “This day is so gray,” says the glass-half-empty girl, whose optimistic friend disagrees—and then proceeds, as they head outside, to point out all the colors of winter. There are actually “shining” blues in the puddles, she notes, as well as yellow rays of sunlight, “dots of orange” in flowers still blooming, “stomps of green” in the surviving grass underneath the snow and much more. The petulant friend, her brow often furrowed and arms sometimes crossed, stubbornly clings to a dimmer view of things, but when they head inside, her attitude seems to change, thanks to her friend’s sunny outlook.

At its core this story, told entirely in dialogue, is not just about gratitude. It’s about the virtues of slowing down to notice the world around us. In enumerating all the colors she sees in winter, the optimist is able to appreciate what nature has to offer and extend that gift to her friend. Illustrator Alea Marley’s colors pop off the page, particularly in the snowy outdoor spreads, and when the friends head inside, she builds a cozy, intimate world of soft pet cats, steaming cocoa and warm blankets.

“Boring” and bleak become colorful when it is beauty you seek.

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A Day So Gray

A Day So Gray

By Marie Lamba, illustrated by Alea Marley
ISBN 9781328695994

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