A powerful summer storm careens through a Midwestern farming community in six hours, leaving an uneven wake of destruction.
Geisert’s pictures (wordless except for selected times of day) incorporate vast expanses of sky and earth. Intricate cross sections show the interiors of houses, barns and animal homes. As the storm builds, fox families take to their dens, and rabbits hie to their warrens. A lightning strike cuts off power at 12:15 p.m.; roiling funnel clouds fell trees and pulverize a farmstead on the horizon. A family in a red pickup towing a trailer of baled hay makes deliveries, stopping to help elders prepare. When the truck breaks down, it’s towed and repaired—but the family must shelter under a stone bridge for the worst of the storm. The next spread is the story’s most dramatic—a flash flood sweeps through, propelling house parts, uprooted trees, fences, a tire swing and more. It takes two tense page turns before readers know that the community’s inhabitants are intact: They’ve all gathered to repair the house and barn of hard-hit neighbors. Geisert’s meticulous line compositions are etched onto copperplate, inked and hand-colored. Masterfully, he captures the shifting light as thunderheads build, rain sheets and the night-dark storm moves through.
Though children might need some reassurance, this beautifully nuanced meditation on the power of nature—and community resilience—will reward repeat readings. (Picture book. 4-8)