One of the strangest things about being a parent is the stuff that comes back to you from your own childhood when empty time looms up and you’ve got maybe some string (Cat’s Craddle, anyone?) or a glass of water (invisible juice?) or just an old story that bubbles up in your head while stuck in traffic with a three year old who is learning about colors.
That is how I first told Kate about Little Blue and Little Yellow, two best friends who hugged each other so tightly they became green - in a bumper to bumper jam driving home from school in L.A.
We bought the book a few days later and I was happy to discover it is one of the most tender, delightful, and fun children’s books out there – and it’s about two jaggedy edged colored circles, their friends, families and adventures.
It was Leo Lionni’s first children’s book, having had a highly successful career as a graphic designer, art director, and artist. He went on to make 39 more: Fredrick, Swimmy, and Alexander and The Wind-Up Mouse among others.
But I was pleased and surprised to learn that he came up with his first one on a dull train ride with his grandchildren.