Book Review: The Blue Day Book: A Lesson in Cheering Yourself Up by Bradley Trevor Greive


Published in 2000, The Blue Day Book might have been the early genesis of lolcats and funny goat videos. It is a collection of black-and-white animal photographs that have managed to capture a range of human emotions and Greive has arranged them and composed accompanying short sentences to evoke how we all feel this way sometimes, even those of us who aren’t human.

As the title suggests, the book is aimed at perking up anyone experiencing a “blue day”. For those experiencing a succession of them (and really struggling with depression and other mental health issues), it’s not going to be able to do much. But if it brings a smile to the general reader’s face, then it has done its job.

It’s hard to go past the zebras singing karaoke, if I have to pick a favourite image, although the bad hair day dog and the rhino blowing raspberries are a close second and third.

This was Greive’s first book and it was the beginning of a now multi-book career. It really goes to show that there is an appetite for variety in publishing. Sometimes we don’t want life-changing tomes spilling over the 100,000 words mark. Sometimes 1,000 words or even 500 words are enough, as long as you are using the right ones.

A succession of imitations followed this book but it is the original and I think still the best. As Greive acknowledges in the introduction, “A tiny book like this appears deceptively simple. It is not.” Read it and marvel at its elegance, its brilliance and its underlying message worth remembering over and over again each day.

4 stars

First published on Goodreads 8 March 2016


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