Rain (Anders Holmer)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Rain by Anders Holmer, a lovely look at nature and life in haiku form.

Using the format of the traditional poetry form, each spread offers an expanse of scenery from around the world and a glimpse into the lives of those that inhabit it. A group of humans and reindeer cross a tundra, the youngest calf stopping to discover fresh lichen. A song plays on a car radio, but no one hears it; the driver is changing the tire and his children are greeting a dog. As cherry blossom petals flutter down, two friends are struck by the beauty and quickly resolve a spat, enjoying moment together instead. The reader journeys around the world, showing how different the world can be, even when it often comes down to something we all share, like rain.

Soft, simple, and beautiful. This book had such a wonderfully calming look and tone, using the haiku format to tell each story richly yet with an economy of words. The art uses light and dark to perfectly set the stage while pops of color, details, and movement make the subjects come alive. It inspires the reader to examine each scene carefully, and allows the art and spare text to evoke the desired emotion. The length is great, and JJ and I really enjoyed it. A soothing meditation on a wider world, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved.

Duck And Hippo In The Rainstorm (Jonathan London)

Hello, friends! Our book today is the very sweet Duck And Hippo In The Rainstorm, written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Andrew Joyner, the tale of two best friends spending an adventure-filled rainy day together.

As a light drizzle begins to fall, Duck heads over to her best pal Hippo’s house to ask if he would like to go for a walk in the rain. Hippo is unsure, but promises to go if they can share Duck’s umbrella. It takes a little cooperation to find a configuration that keeps them both dry, but they arrive upon a solution that works just fine. So begins a day of fun and adventure for the pair of friends, who find that even enjoying a stroll in the rain can have its challenges, but that win your best friend by your side, everything will work out okay.

We enjoyed this one! There’s a very classic, old-school sensibility to the plot structure: the friends never argue, there is no major conflict or obstacle (just small hiccups that are mostly easily overcome, often with teamwork), and the friends remain positive, supportive and good-hearted throughout. It makes for a rather cheerful and lighthearted read that we both enjoyed! The art is also inspired by classic storybooks: clean lines, expressive characters, and bright, simple colors make for a timeless look that was very engaging for JJ. The length was good, and this one left us with a smile. Baby Bookworm approved!

This Beautiful Day (Richard Jackson)

Hello, friends! Today, we’re reviewing This Beautiful Day, written by Richard Jackson and illustrated by Suzy Lee, a celebration of the often-underestimated potential for loveliness in rainy days.

Told in flowing syncopated rhyme, the story opens on three children, watching the dark skies outside their window. Nothing to do because of the rain? No way – just put on a little music so you can dance and spin, all in time to the rain’s pitter-pat. And when the rain lets up a bit, grab your umbrella, because misty weather is perfect for a puddle parade with friends. And when the sky lightens and the sun comes out again, you’ll know that a good day has nothing to do with the weather, and everything to do with a positive attitude and being with good friends.

This was a sweet and fun book with a simple message, some great art, and a good deal of charm. I loved Lee’s use of watercolors to represent water and clouds, and gradual shift from grayscale to full color as the weather became brighter and clear. The message is a great one as well, showing that having a good attitude can make any day a beautiful one. The unusual rhyme scheme tripped me up a few times on first reading, but not so much that it diminished our enjoyment of the book. The length was good, and JJ enjoyed it, so we can definitely recommend this wonderful rainy day read. Baby Bookworm approved!

Rain! (Linda Ashman)

Hello, friends! Today, we read Rain!, written by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Christian Robinson, a story about what a positive attitude can do.

As the rain falls over the city, a grumpy old man grumbles about the wet weather while putting on his rain gear. Across town, an excited little boy greets the rain with glee, putting on his froggy rain hat and coat, and hopping through the puddles. Each person he passes sees his joy, and it brings a smile to their faces. Meanwhile, the old man’s angry mood has not improved, and darkens the mood of everyone around him as he lashes out on others. When the two opposites walk into the same cafe, what will happen? Will the man’s foul mood infect the boy as well? Or can a bit of positivity and kindness from the little boy turn the man’s day around?

This was absolutely adorable. The central theme was fantastic, showing that we choose to view things positively or negatively, and those choices not only effect our mood by can make an impact on the attitudes of those around us. I love that it encourages children to examine how what we put out into the world comes back to us, for better or worse. The illustrations are fabulous of course, utilizing Robinson’s signature cut-paper artwork to build a city full of life, people, and weather. The length is perfect for little ones, and JJ loved it. This is a perfect book for a rainy day. Baby Bookworm approved!