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Blue Color History

Ever wonder why we say, "Once in a blue moon" or why we sing the blues, or why first prize ribbons are blue? Find out in this historical journey about the color blue by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond and illustrated by Daniel Minter.

Characters: The protagonist is Blue--the color. The rest of the cast are the people, places, and things Blue meets as it travels through history.

Theme: History

Conflict: The journey

Perspective: Third person

Plot: The journey begins in 4500 BC in Afghanistan when blue rocks called lapis lazuli were found and used to make jewelry and make-up for Cleopatra. But extracting the color from the rock wasn't easy and only the wealthy could afford blue's luxury spawning the search to find alternative sources of blue dye.

Other sources were discovered--snails, pea plants but these too had their harvesting challenges making blue too expensive for everyone to afford.

Then Adolf von Baeyer, after 40 years of research, discovered the chemical formula to create the color blue. His discovery gave everyone the chance to have objects of blue and the passion for the color "as deep as the sea and wide as the sky" was born.

Because of blue's historical scarcity and difficult journey to wide availability and affordability blue became valued for more than just its vibrant color. Today, the color blue is associated with feelings, music, royalty, and spirituality.

Style: A narrative story

Setting: Abstract, ancient Egypt through modern time


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