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THE DAY THE RAIN MOVED IN by Éléonore Douspis Kirkus Star


by Éléonore Douspis ; illustrated by Éléonore Douspis ; translated by Shelley Tanaka

Pub Date: April 6th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-77306-481-9
Publisher: Groundwood

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)