Jaden sitting listening to an art teacher tell Leo Lionni’s story, Little Blue and Little Yellow. Little Blue and Little Yellow are best friends.
One day they hug and become green. They are no longer recognized by even their parents and
only when they cry tears of their own color do they become known again.
I heard the story twice, at a local “mommy & me” art class. This story may be read as simply that: a story about friendship. However, this story is one that can also grow with the child, as a way of explaining what can be quite abstract to an older child. I understand why some adults can interpret this story as something sexual and therefore to be avoided — but this is a narrow-minded view and maybe the “educators” can put a bit of effort and THINK about how this story can convey the unconditional love that comes through pure friendship.
We can explain to an older child that “blue” and “yellow” may represent ways of thinking about the world — ideas we hold in our heads about ourselves or other people. When we come into the presence of an interaction that is pure friendship, we share our ideas and as a result of this act of friendship, we begin to expand our ways of thinking. This new way of thinking “green” only came about because of the openness (embrace) we hold toward the ideas of one whom we regard as a friend. Once we open our minds — we are never the same. But we also run into the danger of people who had known us only for the old ideas we held (the parents — we can extrapolate this to authority figures.) This was the case when each “green” goes back home and meets with resistance — their ideas and ways of thinking have changed, and therefore they become unknown to ones familiar with their “old self.” Yet all is not lost — when they cry — it can represent in part the revealing of information that allows them to be recognized by those who knew their old self. And once their inner circle experience the same opening of the minds (represented by Big Blue and Big Yellow hugging each other forming green) — the inner circle now becomes aligned with the expanse of thinking of the catalysts toward new thinking (Little Blue and Little Yellow.)
Taken in this context, I can appreciate how this book can grow up with the child, revealing layers of deeper meaning as the child forms own identity and learns critical thinking and open-mindedness. Of course, this does require the adults around that child to have the insight to guide these revelations.