Glynn introduces Rain Boy and Sun Kidd—and then presents children’s contrasting reactions to their essences.
The young people are glum or angry when Rain Boy, depicted as a puffy, blue cloud, drips on their outdoor play. Sun, a glowing girl of color, is welcomed happily, however. The tension between the two climaxes during her birthday, when Rain Boy’s presence floods the basement, threatening the cake and presents. The guests encircle the cloud, crying: “Rain, Rain, go away!” Sun escapes to her room. Glynn’s watercolor, cut-paper, pastel, and colored-pencil caricatures and tableaux channel both a delightfully childlike aesthetic and emotionally charged expressionism. Sun’s bed is draped in golden curtains in the upper corner of a space defined by the strong diagonals of a wrought-iron balcony and foreshortened ladder. A black, starry sky frames the yellow/orange interior, which is dominated by a Calder-esque mobile. After Rain Boy storms off, the downpour continues until the children start appreciating both one another and puddles. This coaxes the celestial protagonists outside, where a rainbow appears: “So next time you’re feeling down and your world is dark and gray…just look up.” As convenient and lovely as this spread is, the message does not quite apply to Rain Boy, nor is it completely transferable to an ostracized reader, thus sapping the book of some of its logic and power.
Captivating visuals will prompt conversations about the feelings and choices of victim, friend, and community.(Picture book. 3-6)