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Why Is Blue Dog Blue? A Delightful Book to Share With Grandchildren

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Why Is Blue Dog Blue? A Delightful Book to Share With Grandchildren
Photo © George Rodrigue

The Bottom Line

Perhaps you love Blue Dog. Perhaps the popularity of the icon perplexes you. Either way, you'll love Why Is Blue Dog Blue?

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  • Visually stunning
  • Appealing to all ages
  • Creative, playful text


  • Some difficult vocabulary


  • Text written with Bruce Goldstone
  • Published in March 2002
  • 40 pages
  • Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Inc.
  • Illustrated with silkscreens of Blue Dog

Guide Review - Why Is Blue Dog Blue? A Delightful Book to Share With Grandchildren

Cajun artist George Rodrigue has been drawing Blue Dog since 1984, and most adults are familiar with the image. Many children, however, are not, but that does not seem to interfere with their being totally captivated by this book.

There's not a lot of text, and it is lively, using different font sizes, colors and positions to reinforce the meaning. Most of the words are easy enough for my 6- and 7-year-old grandsons to read them. There is one page, though, that shows samples of other colors that Blue Dog could be painted. This page has lovely big words, like periwinkle and burgundy and even cajun. Guess what? It's the boys' favorite page. They love exploring colors other than red and blue; they like trying to wrap their tongues around words like "chartreuse."

All of my grandchildren enjoy the book, although on different levels. The younger grandchildren enjoy the pictures and the idea that a dog can be different colors. The older grandchildren enjoy the puns: "What color do I paint Blue Dog when I go fishing? Salmon"--and the sly humor: "I never paint Blue Dog purple (except for when I do)."

As for me, I like the message, stated outright in the book, that "Artists don't have to paint things the way they really are," and the message, implied if not stated, that it's okay to be different. That, I think, is the real magic of Blue Dog.

Why Especially Suited for Reading With Grandchildren

This is a book that grandparents will enjoy reading as much as grandchildren. The insight into the world and mind of an artist is fascinating. If you have grandchildren who are budding artists, this is an especially important book to share with them. It's suitable for preschoolers and school-age children, although you may see older grandchildren being drawn in when you read it.

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