Hardcover picture book
8.5 inches by 11.5 inches
Ages: 7 to 107
RED, WHITE, AND BLUEBELLE
About the Book
Bluebelle and Elephant vie to become president of the zoo, but can their friendship survive the presidential race? Lyrically written with a healing message, Red, White, and Bluebelle explores differences in campaign platforms and the importance of voting. Based upon the Liberal vs. Conservative presidential platforms, children will chuckle at the memorable text while adults will recognize the deeper context and symbolism.
About the Author
Jessie Burnam has educated students with special needs from the elementary school years through the post-secondary. She strives to write picture books with rhythmic and memorable text. Jessie also authored Trumpet Song, a modern retelling of The Ugly Duckling and a Writer's Digest Annual Contest Award Winner.
About the Illustrator
Brian Martin launched his career as a nationally syndicated cartoonist of Creek and Imagine That. He's illustrated over 20 picture books, including the beloved series, The Adventures of Connor the Courageous Cutter, a recipient of the International Book Awards.
The Story's Backstory
Jessie Burnam wrote Red, White, and Bluebelle, and Brian Martin was its illustrator. When Brian signed onto this unique project, the first version of the manuscript mirrored the cadence and rhythm of Irving Berlin's song, Anything you can do, I can do better. Berlin had composed the music for the musical Annie Get Your Gun, later made into a popular movie. During this song, Annie Oakley and Frank Butler sing about how they can competitively outdo one another with virtually anything. Check out this YouTube link of their lively and humorous performance.
The topic of Red, White, and Bluebelle is a highly sensitive one, as it reflects the Clinton and Trump political campaign and the current liberal versus conservative platforms. Jessie Burnam revisited her manuscript and completely rewrote a new and more kid-friendly version. She retained the bantering tone between Bluebelle and Trunk and honored the competitiveness of Irving Berlin's song. Jessie's goal was to create a uniquely nonpartisan story with the true spirit of a picture book for young kids and big kids of all ages. With Brian Martin's illustrations, one can envision the evolution and changes of the first story's adult characters to the revised story with childlike ones.