William lives in a gray world. His moods, his thoughts, even most of his clothes are gray. But one gray morning, a mysterious girl appears. Her name is Purple, and she is the only dash of color in Wil
William lives in a gray world. His moods, his thoughts, even most of his clothes are gray. But one gray morning, a mysterious girl appears. Her name is Purple, and she is the only dash of color in William's gray yard. She asks his name, and when he answers "Um, well…," she dubs him Umwell the Gray, then leads him on an exploration of a world that is always new and beautiful to eyes that can see.
This story is a celebration of the ever—present newness and change around and within us. Because newness is more readily discernible in nature than in human lives, the story relies on Purple's guidance through the natural world to build a bridge to William's inner world. Umwell the Gray can't see what Purple sees in a falling leaf, a cloud, a swirling stream, a tidepool. She is demanding, challenging, frustrating, but compelling. Though he doesn't understand her, he wants to be around her. Bit by bit the world comes to life for him, and as it does, Rebecca Evans's palette evolves from gray to multihued. At last Umwell becomes William, but a different William than he was before. He is a new boy, looking out upon a new world.
View Biographical note
Nathaniel Jenks has always found peace and inspiration in the natural world and hopes to convey through his children's stories the intuition that not only are people a part of the natural world, but it is also a part of us, woven inextricably into our being. An outdoor and sports writer, this is his first children's book.
Rebecca Evans worked for nine years as an artist and designer before returning to her first love: children's book illustration and writing. Her books include Someday I'll Fly; Friends in Fur Coats; The Shopkeeper's Bear; Naughty Nana; Mei Ling in China; Finding the Speed of Light (starred review, Kirkus); and Alone Like Me (starred review, Kirkus). She lives in Maryland with her husband and four young children, teaches art at the Chesapeake Center for the Creative Arts, and works from her home studio whenever time permits. Rebecca's boundless imagination enjoys free rein at www.rebeccaevans.net.