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Monday, January 26, 2015

Blue on Blue, written by Dianne White and illustrated by Beth Krommes. Beach Lane Books, Simon & Schuster. 2014. $21.99 ages 3 and up

Clouds swell.
Winds blow bolder.

Weather changes.
Air grows colder.

Gray on gray.
Dark and glooming.

Black on black.
Storm is looming."

There is work to be done every day on a family farm. Some of the family work harder than the rest. As we begin the day with them, Mama is already to hang laundry, the garden is hoed, and the pets are off on a romp. From the top bedroom window, a little girl watches the action. As Mama pegs the laundry and the baby plays happily on a blanket in the grass, our little girl skips rope. The wind
appears  to be getting up.

Turn the page and ominous looking clouds are blowing in, and an awareness for the coming storm is felt. With thunder and lightning roaring in the background, the little one has found shelter under the blankets on her bed. If you look outside her window, you can see Papa trying to get a horse and colt into the warmth and safety of the barn.

Everyone and everything is affected by the power of the raging storm. It seems to last forever. When it subsides, there is nothing to do but enjoy the aftermath ... and enjoy it they do!

Perfectly picked for their power and their rhythm, the words chosen to tell this timeless tale of a day in the life of a young child will have little listeners begging for more. It is sure to evoke chatter about other rainy day terror, and fun.

Beth Krommes' watercolor and scratchboard artwork is, as usual, glorious. She captures the bucolic beauty of the farm and its environs while also showing the storm at its wildest and scariest. From bright, inviting, morning sunshine and the lasting power of the storm to the joy in muddy play and the starlit sparkle of a summer evening, her images are detailed and layered ... yet stunningly simple in the story they tell. There is so much to see; you will immediately return to the story's first page and begin all over again.

"Sun sneaks back.
Warms the air.
Muddy, muddy ...

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