Blue Paint by Liam Maher, with art by Bonnie Everett-Hawkes, is a story told by John, a young man facing a problem. John is careful to do good work on his very first painting job. However, a grumpy little man insists that John dripped blue paint on his new silk hat.
John doesn’t see any paint, but two others do and support the grumpy little man’s claim for damages. Afraid of getting in trouble, John pays for the alleged damage with his own money. This is one of those storybooks you may want to use your catch phrase for: Life is like that -- sometimes unfair and even unjust.
Then John learns the grumpy little man has a bad reputation -- John is his latest victim. He is angry and sees a chance to “get even.” Later he tells his boss everything. Believing justice still hasn’t been served, his boss has a plan to right the wrong. The ending is satisfying – “all’s well that ends well.”
The illustrations by Bonnie Everett-Hawkes are colorful and insightful. They show us things that John isn’t aware of until later in the story. The artwork is in our American Folk Art tradition – stylized, humorous, and expressive.
An engaging story, Blue Paint also provides opportunity for important discussions of right and wrong. Parents and teachers may ask kids: If you’re sure you’re right, in a similar situation, but some say you’re wrong, what should or could you do? What else could John have done? Is “getting even” the best thing to do if you believe you have been wronged? Are there other ways to deal with tricksters, con men, and dishonest people? There significant lessons to be learned here. Thank you, Liam Maher and Bonnie Everett-Hawkes, for this thought-provoking story.
Available from www.guardianangelpublishing.com