A deaf white girl is sad when she perceives her difference.
“In Reena’s world, sounds scattered and scrambled and made no sense.” She finds a companion in a little brown dog that joins the kids’ playtime in the park. Dog shows the children (a racially diverse bunch) the best places to hide, but Reena always finds them. When it’s her turn to hide, nobody can find her, and she ends up alone because she can’t hear them calling her. When Reena asks her mother why she is different, she signs back: “We are like the colours of the rainbow. We are all different.” The platitude doesn’t make Reena feel better. She decides she must be periwinkle blue, which isn’t a rainbow color, and feels uncomfortably different until the day she spots a falling tree branch and screams, alerting Dog, who jumps and knocks a playmate out of the way. Now she and Dog are part of the rainbow. Reena’s emotions are gently portrayed, and the illustrations softly match the tone of the storyline, doing a particularly good job at developing the relationship between Dog and Reena. Though the rainbow device seems forced and the resolution simplified, all kids are likely to relate to the feeling of being left out.
There is no sense of a Deaf community, and Reena’s plot-driven relationship to the hearing children raises questions about the book’s audience: is it for kids like Reena or her hearing playmates? (Picture book. 4-7)