A child finds an imaginative way to help her autistic little brother cope with his aversion to an all too common hue.
“My brother Zane is different to other kids,” explains the British narrator: he has a made-up language; really likes to line things up; and most of all, “he hates the colour black.” This not only leads him to avoid the “soft fall” at the playground (some sort of padding, to judge from the illustrations), but also to refuse to cross any blacktopped street or driveway and to fall into a furious tantrum if his clueless parents try to force the issue. But he happily joins his sister in drawing a chalk rainbow on the porch—a rainbow that extends down the sidewalk and, thanks to the thick smears of colored chalk on their hands, just keeps going all the way across the street to the playground and back. “Soon there are rainbows everywhere!” Though the oversized heads and soft-focus features of this white family lend a generic air to the episode, the arcs of imaginary rainbow are as bright and present as the actual chalked part, and they convey a buoyant sense of triumph as they lengthen to fill the pictures with light and color. By the closing cuddle, even mom and dad are making rainbow bridges.
A trifle loosely rendered but clever and perceptive. (Picture book. 6-8)