RAIN! by Linda Ashman, pictures by Christian Robinson (2013)
April showers and all, at least in some parts. Both of these picture books are about rain and one’s reaction to rain. Irritation, joy, anticipation. And in both the artwork really shines through.
In RAIN! a grumpy old guy is not a fan of rain. A young boy dressed in his frog rain coat revels in it. You can tell by their speech, their actions, and even by their tones of voice and faces when they say the same thing—genius!
I love how a young person’s joie de vivre can turn someone else’s grumpity grump into a ribbity hippity-hop. It’s a wonderful book with happy, striking, and modern collage illustrations by Robinson, 2014 winner of the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award.
Thanks to Christian Robinson for the images!
In UMBRELLA, Momo (a sweet name that means “peach” in Japanese) receives an umbrella and rain boots for her third birthday. She wants badly to use them, but New York refuses to rain. Momo must wait and wait and wait and wait.
The illustrations are bright, colorful, and moody.
And what I like most about this book is perhaps that it’s not about an umbrella so much after all. It’s about waiting and growing up. Because the first time it rains and Momo uses her umbrella, she holds its handle instead of her parents’ hands. It’s her first step of independence. It was worth the wait.
Umbrella images via The Art of Children’s Picture Books
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You know what gets me in a good mood? Not rain necessarily, though we need it badly here in Los Angeles, but umbrellas. Rain gear. There’s something inherently happy about the choicest of those. So here goes.
Happy April showers, guys!