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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rain, written by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Christian Robinson. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Thomas Allen & Son. 2013. $19.99 ages 2 and up

How can two people
view the same day
so differently?

And what happens
when the two meet?

Grab your umbrella
and find out!

There is a 60% chance that it will rain today in Victoria. At this moment, the dreary skies and cool breeze certainly make it look like it might rain on some one's parade. That would not be the case for the small boy pictured above. 

We need his enthusiasm to stave off the grumpiness of the older man who shares the pages of this delightful and amusing new book...perfect for a springtime readaloud. The man awakens to rain and shows his displeasure pretty quickly. The small boy is just the opposite!

Getting ready to go out into the weather is filled with grumbling and complaint for one, unbridled delight for the other. The small boy emerges in bright green raincoat, matching boots and a frog hat that only ups the joy.  Grumpy doesn't like puddles, the boy loves them! Their paths may be different; their destination the same. It is inevitable that they will meet, and they most assuredly do. 

Might cocoa and cookies change the trajectory of the old man's day? Or will one very cranky man turn a good day bad for one small and joyous boy? The latter seems to happen until the little one notices a hat left behind. Off he runs to return the hat, share his cookie and his exuberance for the day unfolding.

There is little text to read; and, the story remains remarkable. The mood is clear, and the illustrations add to that clarity in painted and cut-paper collages that help young readers see both sides of the story.

Be sure to take the time to pore over all that Christian Robinson has chosen to show us in our travels with the two through their neighborhood and at their sojourn in the Rain and Shine Cafe.


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