Saturday, May 9, 2015
Outstanding in the Rain:A Whole Story with Holes, written and illustrated by Frank Viva. Tundra Books, Random House. 2015. $21.95 ages 4 and up
MY BIRTHDAY SURPRISE!
WITH TEARS IN MY EYES.
I SHOUT IN
"THIS IS ONE
Have you been to Coney Island? I have not, and have only photographs, television and stories to give me any sense of what it must be like. So, I started reading this new book by Frank Viva, not only because I have admired his other books for children, but also because of an abiding interest in New York and its many attractions. I like that this young boy and his mother are celebrating his birthday on the boardwalk there.
It is a fun time for both, and certainly for those who share it. The two do just what you would hope to do when visiting such an attraction ... they have ice cream, they slip down a huge and scary 'crazy slide' side by side, they have a birthday party picnic and a surprise gift on the beach, and finally, they ride the winding roller coaster at dark, just before catching the night train home. An apt outing for a young boy on his fourth birthday. It will leave readers envious.
More than that, they will be intrigued with the design of the book itself. The artist cuts holes in the pages themselves to create new images with each turn of the page. The decorations on a beach umbrella become those same decorations on his birthday cake. 'Night rain' becomes 'night train' as the rain begins to fall, the adventure winds down, the two move toward their trip home. It is great fun!
Playing with text and the way that it is seen is what will draw readers to this book, and have them poring over every detail of its cleverly illustrated pages. The colors are brightly displayed on ever-changing backgrounds. Original and unusual, this is a book that is rare in the children's literature field. Reading it only once cannot possibly give the 'whole' experience its due. You will want to go and read it again!
"Those sandwiches there,
they look like the best.
On the sand which is there,
we stop and we rest.”