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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

This Beautiful Day, written by Richard Jackson and illustrated by Suzy Lee. Atheneum Books, Simon & Schuster. 2017. $21.99 ages 3 and up

"This beautiful day ...

has all of us skipping

and singing

and calling

or whistling "

Would that we were children who find happiness and laughter in living! If you know, or have lived with a child, you will also know the pure joy they find in the water that follows a storm or the rain itself. Nothing can stop them from wading, splashing, kicking up their heels as warm rain soaks them through, and covers the ground around them. They find wonder in their world, and express it through unbridled delight and movement.

The rain and dark clouds outside might dampen the spirits of the three children featured here. It does not. When the oldest of three finds a music station on the radio beside him, they are off. They dance, and twirl, and spin in glorious abandon. With umbrellas in hand, they take their exuberance outdoors, footloose and fancy-free as they splash through the street. As the rain stops, friends spill out of surrounding houses and onto the street to partake of the fun to be had, until sleep claims the littlest one, and the need for a snack has the other two resting for a few sweet moments - before they succumb to the joy of a 'beautiful day' once again. Refreshing and sure to capture the attention of little ones who will not be able to hide their satisfaction in hearing this book read.

Richard Jackson's lilting text allows Suzy Lee free rein to create action-filled, spirited scenes as kids swing from tree branches, swoop through the air with windblown umbrellas, skid down hills and languish in summer heat.

Kids don't let rain stop them from savoring every moment of their days. Returning sunshine only ups their fascination and their imagination.

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