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


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 with 7.5-by-20.8-inch double-page spreads viewed at 89% of actual size.)

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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


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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless.


A monohued tally of positive character traits.

Purple is a “magic color,” affirm the authors (both actors, though Hart’s name recognition is nowhere near the level of Bell’s), and “purple people” are the sort who ask questions, laugh wholeheartedly, work hard, freely voice feelings and opinions, help those who might “lose” their own voices in the face of unkindness, and, in sum, can “JUST BE (the real) YOU.” Unlike the obsessive protagonist of Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious franchise, being a purple person has “nothing to do with what you look like”—a point that Wiseman underscores with scenes of exuberantly posed cartoon figures (including versions of the authors) in casual North American attire but sporting a wide range of ages, skin hues, and body types. A crowded playground at the close (no social distancing here) displays all this wholesome behavior in action. Plenty of purple highlights, plus a plethora of broad smiles and wide-open mouths, crank up the visual energy—and if the earnest overall tone doesn’t snag the attention of young audiences, a grossly literal view of the young narrator and a grandparent “snot-out-our-nose laughing” should do the trick. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.4-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.2% of actual size.)

The buoyant uplift seems a bit pre-packaged but spot-on nonetheless. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12196-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet