Although Leo Lionni is a popular author and illustrator of picture books, many people are surprised to find that he did not write his first book until he was a grandfather. Lionni and his family lived in many different places during his childhood including Brussels, Philadelphia, and Genoa. He attended the University of Zurich and married Nora Maffi. In 1939 he, his wife, and their two children moved to Philadelphia where Lionni worked for an advertising agency and was also the head of the graphics design department of the Parsons School of Design. In 1959, at age 50, he returned to Italy. His first picture book, LITTLE BLUE AND LITTLE YELLOW was originally created as a story to amuse his grandchildren during a tedious train ride. SWIMMY, one of Lionni's personal favorites, was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1964.
From the Publisher
This is little blue.
Originally written to entertain his grandchildren during a train trip, LITTLE BLUE AND LITTLE YELLOW is the story that began Leo Lionni's career as a writer and illustrator of children's books. Little Blue is a small blue circle who is best friends with Little Yellow, a small yellow circle. One day Little Blue is so happy to see Little Yellow, that he gives Little Yellow a hug so big that they blend together and become the color green. At first they are very happy being green, but when they go home, their parents don't recognize them. How will Little Blue and Little Yellow convince their parents of their true identities? Illustrated with torn paper collages, this look at color blending and friendship was selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the Best Illustrated Children's Books of 1959
A little blue spot and a little yellow spot are best friends, and when they hug each other they become green.