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Thursday, August 10, 2017

There, There, written by Tim Beiser and illustrated by Bill Slavin. Tundra Books. 2017. $21.99 ages 5 and up

"In the mud, Hare sat and stared
At that poor, blind, wrinkled
Whose brown skin, all slimy-
Was his most attractive feature.
Hare compared the life he had,
And he thought,
Things aren't so bad.
"Yes, I see," the hare then

It seems that we have been waiting for rain here for a very long month, or two. We have had the rare downpour, but it hasn't been nearly what is needed for so many. Every time it showers, I want to do a happy dance. I love the smell, the immediate effect on yards and gardens, and I don't mind at all the quiet, contemplative rest it encourages.

To say Hare feels the same would be a gross miscalculation for his mood, when a daylong rainstorm forces him and his ursine roommate to stay inside! Hare is whiny, and angry, and ANNOYED. Bear does his best to placate his buddy with a chess game, tea and muffins, and the constantly
reassuring "There, there!" Hare's drama and constant complaining finally gets to Bear.

"Knock it off!" the old bear scolded.
"Let me make this very clear,
I have had it up to

Out they go. Bear reasons that Hare has little to complain about when comparing his life to that of an earthworm. The description of earthworm's lot in life is so funny. It is just what is needed to convince Hare his life is pretty darn good. As the two head back inside and the rain makes itself scarce, they leave a disgruntled earthworm behind them.

Bill Slavin uses acrylic paints on gessoed board to create textured backdrops and appealing expressive characters, that bring this humorous tale to full life for the youngsters who will get a real kick from its telling.

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