The Blue Footies

Children - Picture Book
42 Pages
Reviewed on 10/05/2017
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

What began as a fascination with birds continues to grow the more I learn about their seemingly endless diversities and characteristics. I've started sketches for my next picture book. Birds, of course. As a Commercial Artist, illustrating for children’s stories feels perfect for me. I am an older mom and grandma of two, a long-time storyteller, and - I truly love this path I’m on.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite

The Blue Footies is written and illustrated by Joan Dee Wilson and tells the story of a group of birds, blue-footed Boobies, who just love to hang out at the seashore, watching what is going on, and fishing in the depths for sardines. When lots of debris is left ashore by the tide, they are curious, and then see some children on the shore who gather the debris and take it away. Then one of the birds, Blue, gets tangled in some more debris, and the other birds have to find help. They then devise a way to save Blue, and repay their helpers in a way only Boobies could.

This story is told with quite sophisticated language, but it works for the target audience because the wonderful illustrations that accompany the story show the young reader exactly what is happening. There is humour, too, when the birds liken the children’s blue boots to their own blue feet, and their reaction when they find out the children can take their ‘feet’ off is really amusing. But as well as a good story and lovely artwork, there is a very topical aspect, that of debris on the beach and how it can harm wildlife. This is a book that can be discussed with a young reader and broach a number of issues, including the environment, the importance of teamwork, caring for one another, and problem solving. The author and illustrator, Joan Dee Wilson, has crafted a lovely picture book that will entrance young readers.

Jack Magnus

The Blue Footies is a nature-based picture book for children, grades K-3, written and illustrated by Joan Dee Wilson. Mumford and the other Blue-footed Boobies, who share the rocky shorelines with him, love to dive deep into the ocean for their favorite food of all, clean sardines. The local fishermen and hungry whales also hunt for sardines, but the blue footies are designed to be the best fishermen of them all. Their sharp eyes can see their prey beneath the water’s surface, and they fold their wings and dive, piercing through the water to catch the sardines as they swim in schools. Blue footies have water repellent wings which they use as flippers when they swim underwater. Mumford and the others are appalled one day to discover debris on their beach, but then they see the two blue-footed children who seem to be cleaning up that toxic mess. When Blue gets tangled up in garbage, Mumford and the others go off to find those children to see if they can help.

Joan Dee Wilson’s nature-based picture book for children, grades K-3, The Blue Footies, is a lovely and informative work that introduces the Blue-footed Booby and gives an accurate description of their diet and feeding techniques. Wilson’s poetry is lyrical and lovely, and her illustrations give accurate representations of these remarkable diving birds and their azure blue feet. Her illustrations show the birds mid-dive in the air, swimming with the sardines they feed upon, and perched upon the rocky ledges of the shore, and they’re all beautifully portrayed. While she uses a mostly limited palette of blues and browns, her use of color is dramatic and brings life to the story as it unfolds. While this is an ideal book for storytime in class or at home, it’s also well suited for moderately advanced young readers to try on their own. The Blue Footies is most highly recommended.

Mamta Madhavan

The Blue Footies by Joan Dee Wilson is the charming story of the Blue Footed Boobies who go like flying acrobats to feast on sardines. They dive like spears and feast on these finned delights before the fish are caught in the fishermens' nets. One day four from the group - Bea, Tuey, Blue, and Mumford - spy something strange. There is a lot of debris which is toxic and ugly and they feel it is polluting their shore. Then they see blue footed children on the beach, doing something, and they notice the chuildren do not have black toenails like them. They are curious to know what the children have picked up in their blue bucket. A blob of debris blows ashore and whips tightly around Blue’s foot. Will the children help Blue and set him free?

This is a beautiful story of friendship between the birds and the children, and explores the concept of keeping the environment clean through the story. The author excels in her execution of the illustrations as well, and they convey the concept and the message effectively to readers, along with her words. It is heartwarming to see the children helping the birds, and the birds in return trying to feed them fresh sardines. The author captures the concepts of helping, friendship, and having a clean environment all together in this story by weaving them together effortlessly. It is a must-read for all youngsters as it conveys good messages to them through the story of the birds and the children.

Marta Tandori

The Blue Footies is a charming picture book, written and illustrated by Joan Dee Wilson, which will leave many a young child yearning for his or her first glimpse of the ocean. Mumford, Bea, Tuey and Blue are blue-foot Boobies, birds with beautiful, blue-webbed feet and black nails that spend their time looking for, catching and feeding on the many fresh sardines that swim beneath the ocean’s surface. They must compete with fishermen’s nets and the whales that feed on the sardines. One day, Mumford and his friends are shocked to discover debris which has washed up on the shore. It’s toxic, ugly and stinks up the shoreline that they call home. However, the friends soon spy blue-footed children who clean up all the debris in an orange bucket before taking it home. Shortly afterwards, a larger piece of debris hits Blue and as he tries to shrug it off, he gets tangled up in it. Tuey and Bea go to the children for help, but are shocked to discover that the children have shed their “blue footies” and are walking on long, skinny stilts. The children quickly untangle Blue and the grateful Boobies, convinced that the children can’t fend for themselves, are eager to show their appreciation by diving in search of sardines to feed the children.

The Blue Footies has some valuable life lessons to share with its readers. The first is about friendship. Mumford and his friends play together and feed together and when their friend, Blue gets, tangled in garbage, they are quick to to help him. Wilson also teaches little ones that when someone is in trouble and you aren’t able to help directly, it’s okay to ask for help. Without a doubt, though, the most important life lesson is that our actions have consequences. The fact is that humans litter, and that litter then washes up on shore, and creates a toxic and potentially dangerous habitat for the many birds and fish that call the ocean and shoreline their home. It’s never too early to teach youngsters about environmental responsibility and the fact that Wilson is able to do it so organically just makes for a more positive story. The author’s vivid illustrations in varying shades of blue all add to the enticing imagery of the ocean’s beauty. Each of the images effortlessly conveys movement and complements the narrative nicely. With colorful illustrations and a story with a positive message, there is much to love about The Blue Footies for both young and old alike.


The Blue Footies: When a Blue Footed Boobie decides to get a closer look at the ‘Blue Footed’ children on the beach he becomes ensnared by debris. It’s up to the other Blue Footed Boobies to find a way to help their friend. This wonderfully crafted story is the perfect book to spend quality reading time with your little ones. And with the absolutely gorgeous illustrations don’t be surprised when you’re asked to read it again just to look at all the pictures. It’s a great story with the right amount of curiosity, conflict, humor and resolution. And a bonus subtle lesson (and a reminder to us adults) that garbage left outside is dangerous to wildlife. Whether you’re looking for a gift or your family’s new favorite picture book, I highly recommend this one.