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In a Blue Room

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  561 Ratings  ·  125 Reviews
Alice is wide, wide awake. Mama brings flowers, tea, a quilt, even lullaby bells to help her sleep. But none of these things are blue, and Alice can sleep only in a blue room.Yet when the light goes out, a bit of magic is stirred up. Pale blue moonlight swirls into her bedroom window. Then the night swirls out, around the moon and into the universe, leaving Alice fast alse ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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In a Blue Room by Jim AverbeckWe are the Ship by Kadir NelsonWabi Sabi by Mark ReibsteinOld Bear by Kevin HenkesHow I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz
2009 Caldecott Contenders
1st out of 37 books — 92 voters
Nothando's Journey by Jill ManlyWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian SelznickFlotsam by David WiesnerArt & Max by David Wiesner
Best Illustrated Books
43rd out of 167 books — 78 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 868)
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Jul 08, 2008 Betsy rated it it was amazing
You know that feeling you have when you're a fan of something (could be an artist, television show, songwriter, you name it) and they just don't seem to be getting enough attention? And on the one hand that makes you a little happy because now you have a secret special somebody or something that's yours and yours alone. And on the other hand you love this thing or person and you want it to get acknowledged. You want other people to see what you see and to appreciate what you appreciate. Well, I' ...more
Sep 08, 2009 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Chandra and Abigail!
My favorite among the recent stack of picture books I brought home from the library! It is so sweet, so beautifully told, perfect for bed-time. It captures perfectly the essence behind the little quirks children have while trying to go to sleep; for this little girl, everything in her room MUST be blue so what to do when there is the fragrance of pink flowers, the softness of green blankets... which are very soothing but NOT blue? *sigh* made me want to snuggle up and drift off to dreamland--and ...more
Lisa Vegan
Nov 04, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: a bedtime story for preschool children
This is a very calming book with intricate illustrations and it’s perfect for a bedtime story. Not much blue color is used in the pictures until toward the end of the story.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this for children who are extremely literal minded or who routinely look for ways to procrastinate going to bed; the book might give them more ideas for delaying going to sleep. I’m only half joking here.

It is a simple story that has subtle humor and it will not overly stimulate kids right be
Aug 20, 2008 Becky rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: nobody
Shelves: children-and-ya
Nothing about this book quite coheres. The concept -- a little girl can only fall asleep if everything in her room is blue -- is cute, but the execution is kinda lame. Why is blue so important to the girl? The illustrations don't help either -- nothing in the girl's room is blue, which might have helped to give blue some importance, perhaps indicating that it's her favorite color.

The girl's mother brings her various things to help her fall asleep -- a brown cup of tea, some fragrant white and pu
May 18, 2008 Maria rated it it was amazing
This bedtime story written by Jim Averbeck and illustrated by Tricia Tusa is magical. Averbeck's words shine and shimmer like little lyrical gems in the evening light. His text brings us into the room. I can smell the lilacs and lilywhites, feel the warm tea and hear the lullaby bells chime in the breeze.
Tricia's art is gorgeous. Every new spread brings a fresh perspective and shows Alice longing more and more for her bedroom to be blue.
The end of this story brings a twist that made my heart l
May 31, 2010 Ann rated it it was amazing
Sweet story of a little girl, Alice, who is up well past her bedtime. Alice proclaims that she can "only sleep in a blue room."
Mother, however, brings all sorts of sleepy-time things (which are not blue) but somehow manage to help Alice begin to feel sleepy - orange tea, white flowers, etc.
Then, when the lights are out, and the moon shines into Alice's room, she might end up with just what she wanted to begin with :)

Not only is this a great bed-time story, but its a great introduction to the fiv
May 18, 2008 Jim rated it it was amazing
I HAVE to love this book. I wrote it! Not loving it would be like not loving your child.
But I am also enamored of the amazing illustrations by Tricia Tusa.
For less partial reviews check out:
Publisher's Weekly boxed, starred
Caldecott Buzz
7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast
(NS) Lisa
Oct 03, 2009 (NS) Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Young Alice not only loves the color blue, she insists on it, especially at bedtime. This particular night she seems to especially need blue, as she bounces, wide-awake past bedtime. Mama brings her a few of her favorite things: White Flowers (lilacs and lilywhites), tea (orange colored, steaming in a brown cup, a "silky soft and warm" cozy quilt (a red and green pattern), and "lullaby bells to sing you to sleep" ("yellow bells on black strings" that "chime softly in the window breeze.")

Jul 22, 2008 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Alice is unable to sleep because her room isn't fully blue. Her mother tries to help, bringing in flowers with a sweet scent, a steaming cup of tea, a snuggly warm quilt, and a string of bells to ring in the breeze. None of the items are blue, but they all help to greet the blue of the evening. Finally, with the light off, Alice is in her blue filled room and all of the gentle motherly touches are tinted to a blue too.

This is a gentle bedtime book that is soothing, loving and beautiful. Tusa's a
May 18, 2008 Lynn rated it it was amazing
I read this to a group of preschoolers today and they were wide-eyed, interested and enthralled from beginning to end. The book is ideal for parent and child, any caregiver and child, and school and library readings.

The spare text, full of sensory details, depicts a child avoiding bedtime because blue is her favorite color and she can only sleep in a blue room. It starts lively with Alice jumping on her bed "wide-awake past bedtime" then gradually lulls with words and illustrations as Alice's mo
Oct 21, 2008 paula rated it really liked it
Tricia Tusa is one of those illustrators with a wonderful, gestural style, whose work I always feel like I've seen before. Her Alice reminds me of the little girl in How to Make a Ni...oops yes well that's because Tricia Tusa illustrated How to Make a Night. Well that was a good night-time book too. Maybe somebody's pigeonholed Tricia Tusa as a go-to-bed illustrator. Weirder things have happened. Eric Carle has his own museum.

In this book, Alice says she can only sleep in a blue room. Her Mama (
Michelle Doerr
Mar 10, 2012 Michelle Doerr rated it really liked it
In a Blue Room is such a magical bed time story! Just reading it makes me want to take a nap. This is a picture book for both nursery and primary readers. Alice is unable to go to sleep because she wants to sleep in a blue room. Her mom brings multiple things of multiple colors, all of which Alice wishes were blue. Orange tea, a green quilt, and yellow bells are among the things her mom bring to aid her to sleep. The last thing her mom does is just what was needed to make a blue room for Alice. ...more
Aug 26, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
This book was beautiful and enchanting. The illustrations, however, were a bit stronger than the text.
Emma Apple
Jul 22, 2015 Emma Apple rated it really liked it
At first, I didn’t love this book. I thought it was a mother giving in to a child’s sleep avoidance, then I felt like it was a mother giving a child sleep aids when all she needed was the light turned off, then I decided that the mother probably didn’t realize that that’s what the child was asking for when she asked for a blue room. With all that aside, the illustrations are beautiful and emotive, it’s a gentle bedtime story and I like that it plays on a child’s language. Children often express ...more
Kelly Sue
Averbeck, Jim. In a Blue Room. Illus. Tricia Tusa. N.p.: Harcourt, Inc., 2008. Print. Bedtime Stories. – This book tells the story of a little girl named Alice who is having trouble falling asleep. As her mother brings different things into her room to help her get to sleep, Alice complains that they are not blue, which is her favorite color. Alice says that she “can only sleep in a blue room”, but her mother reassures her and gets her to try these new things. Alice gets drowsier and when her mo ...more
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Aug 08, 2011 Randie D. Camp, M.S. rated it really liked it
A little girl cannot sleep unless her room is blue. Her mom loving tries to soothe her with flowers, quilts, and tea but none of things are blue. As the little girl gets more sleepy, the mother turns out the lights, the moon comes in and colors everything blue.

Beautifully illustrated, very soothing and gentle, to match the text.
Colby Sharp
Jan 15, 2012 Colby Sharp rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
I randomly pulled this book off the shelf at the library. I'm so glad that I did. It is beautiful.

Read this book to your child before bed.
Kate Hastings
Dec 21, 2008 Kate Hastings rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: preK-K bedtime
Recommended to Kate Hastings by: ACPL
Shelves: picturebooks
Caldecott contender 2008. A girl explains that she can only sleep when her room is blue.
Dec 18, 2008 Julie rated it it was amazing
a calming story, i think it just lowered my blood pressure.
Jun 23, 2008 Tressa rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents, pre-schoolers
Shelves: juvenile
Jim Averbeck's and Tricia Tusa's In a Blue Room is a soothing book that makes an excellent choice for bedtime reading.

A young girl is settling down for the night, but she’s partial to the color blue. Her patient mother enters her room to announce that it’s bedtime, bringing her daughter a vase of white flowers. But since the flowers aren’t blue, the girl isn’t interested in them until her mother encourages her to smell them. Then the mother brings her daughter some tea in a brown cup; a soft, gr
It's time for Alice to go to bed, however she only wants to sleep in a blue room. When her mother brings in some beautiful flowers, Alice doesn't want them because they are not blue. But then she smells them and decides they can stay. The same goes for the tea and quilt and windchimes that her mother brings in.

But when the lights go off and the moon shines in, Alice gets her blue room.

A beautiful, gentle bedtime story.
In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck and illustrated by Tricia Tusa (2008)
Picture Book, 32 pages
In a Blue Room is sure to be a bedtime favorite requested over and over again. Young Alice is wide-awake in her bedroom and refuses to fall asleep without everything in the room being blue, her favorite color. Alice’s mother tries numerous approaches to try and soothe Alice’s senses into slumber. There is something magical in Tusa’s fluid illustrations that portray Alice gradually slipping into sleep by the
Allison Fortunato
Mar 09, 2015 Allison Fortunato rated it really liked it
I liked this book. I thought that it was cute in the way that Alice loved the color blue . She wanted everything to be blue. Her mom would try to get her to try new things but Alice did not like it if it was not blue. Her mom eventually got a blue light that would make everything blue in her room and therefore Alice would not know the stuff she would try was not blue.
Sep 02, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books-jp
What to do if you can only sleep in a blue room? Alice, a wide awake child claims she can only sleep in a blue room - and while the moon and stars blanket she tosses and leaps with is blue, the walls of her room are as yellow as the sun. Mama brings in flowers, tea, a warm quilt - none of which are blue but... smell, sip, touch says Mama who then brings in lullaby bells (listen)... I was drawn to this book because the vibe between the mother and child is so loving and calming and sure )although ...more
Traci Bold
Mar 28, 2016 Traci Bold rated it really liked it
Alice has every excuse not to go to sleep. Her Mama brings all things of comfort to induce sleeping but since none of them are blue, Alice insists she cannot sleep. But...

There is always a but so read it to find out if Alice is still asleep.

Written by Jim Averbeck, illustrated by Tricia Tusa and published by Harcourt Inc.
Apr 16, 2015 Alice rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
My Name is Alice and my favorite color is blue! Even though the main character has an awesome name, I wasn't sold on this book until the last 5 hit for me!
Jul 08, 2014 Jen rated it it was amazing
There's a magical quality to this picture book about a little girl who needs everything to be blue in order to sleep. Enter the moon!
In this lovely bedtime story, rambunctious Alice, jumping all over the bed, can’t settle down and go to sleep because her room is not her favorite color: blue. Way past bedtime, her mother is not deterred and creates a comforting atmosphere in Alice’s room using the senses of smell, taste, touch, sound to help her fall asleep. Tusa’s soft watercolor illustrations perfectly match the simple text, conveying how wild Alice goes from a child bundled with energy slowly winding down and falling asleep ...more
Feb 21, 2015 Luis rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Alice is very cared for by her mother and is put to sleep while her room turns blue from the moon's reflection.
Becky Carleton
Jan 08, 2016 Becky Carleton rated it really liked it
If I ever get around to hosting a pajama storytime, I want to read this excellent bedtime book.
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I was born and raised in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio, a beautiful city built, like Rome, on seven hills-wooded hills of oak, walnut, and maple where I and my childhood imagination ran wild.

I enjoy throwing myself into situations which give me an opportunity to explore and grow. I joined the Peace Corps in my late twenties and went to live in Cameroon in western Africa for almost four years. I
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