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Children's Fiction Emotions & Feelings

Jeffrey Loves Blue

by (author) Loretta Garbutt

illustrated by Lily Snowden-Fine

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Emotions & Feelings, Colors, Neurodiversity, New Experience
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 7
  • Grade: 1 to 12


In art class, a boy finds the courage to leave his comfort zone, try something new, and do something nice for a friend

Sometimes, Jeffrey fixates on certain likes and dislikes. For example, he is very attached to the colour blue. He wears blue socks, blue underwear, a blue hat, and—of course!—blue jeans. At painting class, he paints only in blue. But when his classmate, Keiko, wants to use the blue paint, Jeffrey will have to try a different color. With some gentle coaxing, the narrator helps him navigate his emotions, encouraging him to consider Keiko’s feelings.

This story explores how something that seems simple for some people can be very complicated for others. Jeffrey’s caregiver provides choice, time, and space to help Jeffrey process his emotions. The focus of the story is not about getting rid of Jeffrey’s fixation—it’s about widening his perspective to help a friend, which encourages empathy and compromise.

Delightfully simple and captivating illustrations contextualize Jeffrey’s experience, inviting readers into his thought processes as he works through his difficult decision.

About the authors

LORETTA GARBUTT developed her passion for children’s books while working as a storyteller, bookseller, and reviewer. Her picture books include A Stopwatch from Grampa and And J.J. Slept. Loretta writes from her home in Toronto, Ontario, and believes that finding the perfect words is just as challenging as choosing the perfect colors.

Loretta Garbutt's profile page

Lily Snowden-Fine is an illustrator and multi-disciplinary artist living in Vancouver. Since studying at the Ontario College of Art and Design, she has illustrated two children’s books for Thames and Hudson Publishing, as well as illustrated for such clients as the New York Times, the Globe and Mail, Soho House London, the National Film Board of Canada, and Hornet Animation. Her upcoming projects include a third in the series for Thames and Hudson, and a children’s book for Penguin Random House.

Lily Snowden-Fine's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"What a beautiful and thoughtful story about Jeffrey and how he learned to be brave and overcome his fears for his friend. Snowden-Fine's illustrations adeptly captured Jeffrey's anguish as he had to make a big decision, bringing the story to life in an accessible way for young readers ... The book is a great educational resource for both children and adults alike and it has been an invaluable asset to my collection of therapy materials for my practice. Hats off to Garbutt and Snowden-Fine for the best new book to hit the shelves in a long time, and I foresee it becoming a 'must read' for the next generation in the years to come."

Marnie Loeb, M.Cl.Sc., Reg. CASLPO, Speech-Language Pathologist


Youth Services Book Review

"Encourages children to consider the feelings of others and take steps toward adapting."

Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database

"Jeffrey Loves Blue is a sweet story about a boy who is motivated to show caring and empathy for another child by trying something new and different. Although it’s difficult for him, Jeffrey is able to make a change and the result opens up new and exciting possibilities for him. This book is a perfect way to teach young children on the spectrum about the benefits of trying something outside of their comfort zone. I wholeheartedly recommend this book."

Yolanda Korneluk, PhD., CPsych., Emerging Minds

"Humorous and poignant ... Highly recommended."

Canadian Review of Materials

"This reassuring story will help children who, like Jeffrey, find comfort in structure and routine understand that change is not only possible, but that overcoming a big hurdle can also be rewarding ... Proof that adapting to change is not only possible, but also genuinely enjoyable."

Kirkus Reviews

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