- TITLE: Teal
- WRITTEN & ILLUSTRATED BY: Renee Galvin
- PAGES: 26
- ISBN: 9781682738900
- Available on Amazon, here.
Just quickly flipping through the pages of this book, I was blown away by the illustrations and detail! The book is about a crayon so it makes perfect sense for the artwork to be in crayon (or a crayon-like digital rendering, I’m not sure). It’s so pretty. Our version is a complete paperback which makes it a little more fragile for reading sessions, we read this book together right now because Addison cannot exactly be trusted not to rip the pages apart. Regardless, it’s super cute and a nice size to lay the spreads out and really look at all the detail.
Super Speedy Summary
The book opens by introducing the reader to the main character, Teal – a crayon – and all the things that make this particular crayon so great. Teal is happy, until it’s clean up time. He doesn’t like clean up time because he doesn’t have a true “place”, he doesn’t necessarily fit in with the green or blue crayons. Instead of wallowing in his sorrow, he takes matters into his own hands to create a more inclusive clean up time, where the crayons are not separated but rather come together in a wheel. Lucky for Teal, the other crayons are receptive to his idea and join him all together in a giant wheel, creating the color wheel where the colors blend and fuse together, instead of being separated.
Welcome all colors!
I had a feeling after reading the first few pages what this book would be about, and we were definitely not disappointed. The calls to the ideas of loving yourself and embracing community and inclusivity were clear.
To start, most of us have probably felt at one point or another that we don’t quite fit in – especially as children. Maybe our ears are a little pointier than other kids and stick out under our hair (that was me). Maybe we go to a school that is predominantly one race and we are another and it makes us feel like we don’t quite mesh. Maybe we have interests that most kids our age don’t share and we feel left out. Regardless of the thing that makes us different, we typically feel pretty rotten about it. That’s what makes this book so relatable, teal experiences this feeling of loneliness and exclusion.
But what makes this book so good is what he decides to do with these feelings – instead of just accepting his fate he decides to take matters into his own hands and change things for himself and for the other crayons. Why do they have to be segmented by color? Why can’t they all just be together?
This is what brings me to my second favorite thing about this book, the ties to historically significant events regarding race – specifically the segregation of people by color. How clearly these crayons reflect those events! Teal is so much like those inspiring men and women from those times that decided they were fed up with feeling lower than others, and decided that they wanted to shake things up. That’s why the sign Teal creates “Welcome all colors” is so crucial to the story and to those ties.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
– Martin Luther King Jr.
Teal’s courage to go against the norm and try something that brings people together makes him a heroic character and a role model for kids who want to do the same in their community.
Core value addressed: love & accept yourself and others despite differences
Being sensitive about differences and also standing up for your unique self are values that are very important to our family. This book belongs on our bookshelf and if you share these values with us, I strongly encourage you to add this to your collection as well. We give this book 4 1/2 stars!
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