A day in the park sparks an unlikely connection between a young girl and a street musician without a home. From acclaimed author-illustrator Daria Peoples, Hello, Mister Blue is a powerful picture book that emphasizes the importance of history, bravery, and community. Hello, Mister Blue is for readers who love Yuyi Morales’s Dreamers and Matt de la Peña’s and Christian Robinson’s Last Stop on Market Street.
A young girl always creates special memories when she visits her grandfather. He lets her sip his creamy coffee, they take a stroll through the park, and they play music together. But this time, something unexpected happens: she meets Papa’s longtime friend, Mister Blue.
Mister Blue lives outside, and he and his music have always brought Papa’s community together. At the end of the day, the young girl has many questions for Papa. Is Mister Blue safe? Scared? Lonely, hungry? With her curiosity and kindness, she can change things for the better, for at least one person and one night.
Featuring a lyrical text, stunning illustrations, and a resonant message, Hello, Mister Blue presents a difficult, universal topic with sensitivity and warmth for the youngest of readers. Every person belongs to a community, and generosity can make a difference for everyone.
Hello, Mister Blue is a terrific pick for readers of Oge Mora’s Saturday and Vera B. Williams’s A Chair for My Mother.
“A story to help us see those whom we often don’t. . . . Peoples’s profoundly moving and highly textured oil paintings encourage readers to slow down and absorb the details . . . A visually stunning narrative that poses hard questions with no easy answers and highlights hope despite hardship.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“An energetic, curious girl . . . meet[s] Mister Blue, an old friend of Papa’s who is unhomed . . . The energetic style exudes joy, hope, and celebration . . . Picture books that emphasize understanding and fully embracing the humanity of people who have been traditionally marginalized are still far too rare, and Peoples has added a gem of a story to the mix.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“A child spends the day with their beloved Papa . . . playing violins with him outdoors, and meeting Papa’s friend, Mister Blue, a talented musician who is unhoused. . . . Though Papa offers reassurance, the child protagonist has questions about whether Mister Blue is safe outside, or scared, lonely, cold, or hungry. These queries culminate in the two inviting Mister Blue inside and out of the rain, and Mister Blue becoming the child’s friend, too. . . . Artfully emphasiz[es] the importance of uniting a community of ages and experiences.” — Publishers Weekly
“A young Black girl cherishes her time with her papa. . . . One day, they are joined by Mister Blue. . . . She notices that Mister Blue lives outside, and as the weather turns rainy . . . Her compassion for Papa’s friend leads to an act of kindness—and a new friendship of her own. . . . Bright and lively oil paint and graphite illustrations [add] greatly to the overall story . . . The last image is a brilliant spread of the ultimate jam session, with all the joy that music and friendship can bring." — Horn Book Magazine
“[Peoples] spins a family story into a sensitive child’s account of meeting Mister Blue, a street musician who ‘lives outside’ . . . . Questions she is moved to ask—'Is he safe?’ ‘Is he lonely?’ ‘Is he hungry?’—lead her at last to pull her grandfather out into a rainy night, find Mister Blue lying on a bench, and invite him inside. . . . A sweet tribute to all who have eyes, and hearts.” — Booklist