Read & Make: Blue Rider

When you open the cover of Blue Rider by Geraldo Valerio, you’re met with delicious saturated color in an array of forms and shapes. It’s a treasure just like the book that the child character discovers on a city sidewalk in this wordless story. As the child opens the book, a blue horse leaps across the sky streaking the city’s gray grid with a spray of color.

When Danielle Davis of This Picture Book Life suggested I make a craft for Blue Rider, I happily took up my scissors and glue stick. But how best to reproduce the surprise and pleasure that a reader, like the child in Blue Rider, can find by opening a book? How about a pop-up? With collaged bits of jewel-hued paper. And a blue horse, of course.

Spirals are the simplest way to create a pop-up–and their shape adds whimsy and movement as you open the fold. Plus, they’re easy enough for both kid creators to make.

What You Need:

Card stock or construction paper

Paint color sample cards

Scissors & glue stick

Here’s how:

First, fold a piece of paper in half. I used an 8 1/2 x 11″ sheet of dark blue card stock. Set aside.

On a different piece of paper, trace and cut out a circle on stiff paper. I traced a circle about 4″ in diameter using a tin coffee can. Cut a spiral into your paper circle. It’s OK to freehand, lopsided spirals are as beautiful as uniform ones.

Dab glue to the center of your spiral. Place your circle (glue facedown) inside of your folded paper.

Dab glue to an inch or two of the exposed tail of your spiral. Press the folded paper closed so that the glued tail will adhere to the other half of the paper. When you open the card, the spiral will pop up like a spring!

Now for the fun–cut shapes or hole-punch dots or stars or flowers from your paint sample color cards. If you want to write a message, trace letters and cut them out–whatever pleases you!

Glue your shapes to the spiral, making sure nothing peeks out when you fold the paper closed.

I cut out a blue horse and fashioned a rainbow mane like the one that canters across the city sky in Blue Rider. Then I added abstract shapes to the dark blue background, inspired by Valerio’s pages of rich color and collage. It was so delightful, I quickly made another with abstract bits and tiny hole-punched blooms.

No horse this time, just color, shape, surprise:

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2 thoughts on “Read & Make: Blue Rider

  1. This is such a great idea. I wish my kids hadn’t betrayed me by growing up– I would totally be doing this craft with them!

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