Visually and textually poetic, this contemplative story continues to grow through repeated visits.

THE DAY THE RAIN MOVED IN

What do you do when it starts raining inside your house?

Uninvited, the rain moves inside the house. Huddled and wet, Pauline and Louis watch the rain fall. Their family tries to stop the rain, but nothing works. Outside in the sunshine, the children go to school, hiding their secret from their joyful classmates. Back at home, a seedling sprouts through the kitchen floor. Soon the house is bursting with plants and animals. The siblings watch as their father opens the door to their curious classmates, who marvel at the “unlikely new playground” inside their house. Eventually, the life inside outgrows the house itself, with sky-reaching branches shooting through the walls and roof. Finally, the rain stops, and sunlight fills the transformed house. Translated from French, the sparse, poetic text is at once specific and open to interpretation. This quietly resilient story, a subtle metaphor for experiencing and processing grief, depression, or trauma, invites reading and rereading as small visual and textual elements are discovered and examined. The relationship between inside and outside hinted at in the text is compellingly explored in the illustrations. Colorful accents create balance and focus against the sparse neutral brown and gray backgrounds of the house’s interior and the desertlike outside world. Pauline and Louis, along with the rest of their family, have straight black hair and rosy-tan skin. The schoolchildren are diverse in appearance. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Visually and textually poetic, this contemplative story continues to grow through repeated visits. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77306-481-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted...

CLAYMATES

Reinvention is the name of the game for two blobs of clay.

A blue-eyed gray blob and a brown-eyed brown blob sit side by side, unsure as to what’s going to happen next. The gray anticipates an adventure, while the brown appears apprehensive. A pair of hands descends, and soon, amid a flurry of squishing and prodding and poking and sculpting, a handsome gray wolf and a stately brown owl emerge. The hands disappear, leaving the friends to their own devices. The owl is pleased, but the wolf convinces it that the best is yet to come. An ear pulled here and an extra eye placed there, and before you can shake a carving stick, a spurt of frenetic self-exploration—expressed as a tangled black scribble—reveals a succession of smug hybrid beasts. After all, the opportunity to become a “pig-e-phant” doesn’t come around every day. But the sound of approaching footsteps panics the pair of Picassos. How are they going to “fix [them]selves” on time? Soon a hippopotamus and peacock are staring bug-eyed at a returning pair of astonished hands. The creative naiveté of the “clay mates” is perfectly captured by Petty’s feisty, spot-on dialogue: “This was your idea…and it was a BAD one.” Eldridge’s endearing sculpted images are photographed against the stark white background of an artist’s work table to great effect.

The dynamic interaction between the characters invites readers to take risks, push boundaries, and have a little unscripted fun of their own . (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-30311-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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