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Saturday, October 1, 2016

puddle, written and illustrated by Hyewon Yum. Farrar Straus Giroux, Macmillan. Raincoast. 2016. $19.50 ages 4 and up

It's an umbrella.

That's my blue
umbrella. Can you
draw me holding it?


Sometimes rainy days leave a lot to be desired. Although we are sure to have rain in coming weeks playing in a puddle will likely become less enjoyable as water temperatures drop and cooler air makes us shiver. In this lively book, Mom shows patience and imagination in helping her little one contemplate the joys that arise when kids are kept inside on a rainy day. We always have imagination!

Her first suggestion is drawing. That is quickly rejected.

"Don't be so grumpy.
We can have fun at home.
Do you want to draw?

I don't want to!
I'll never draw!"

Mom does what all smart moms do ... accepts the refusal and enjoys drawing on her own. You can imagine what happens. Mom first takes suggestions for her own drawings and soon her son is adding details of his own. Having a conversation and inviting creativity to draw with crayons on a big pad of paper, she is able to redirect her child from his concern that the rain is curtailing all of his favorite activities into a game that both can enjoy together. Now, he can see the many pleasures of a rainy day where once there were none.

Soon, they are donning raincoats, boots and taking their umbrellas outside to fully enjoy the puddles created by the much maligned rainy day. Wahoo!

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