Old proverbs foretelling rain figure prominently in this tale of a little boy's birthday hopes. Lowell has been scratching the days off his calendar all year in anticipation of his birthday: As he sees it, the family will flock, music will flow, and it will be a proper celebratory hoedown. When a red sky in the morning suggests that all may not go as planned, Lowell's mother is cautious when he brings her word of the glorious dawn. Nor does his father like those low-flying geese, nor granny the flapping oak leaves. But Lowell trusts his Ozark Mountain cousins to make it, his hopes soaring then dimming when each passing sign is interpreted. This is a big-hearted, can-do tale full of good cheer and trusty kinfolk, and the story is given an added verve through Rogers's fine, place-summoning watercolors. In her debut, Hershenhorn includes a list of rain-related proverbs at the end of the book, many of which are right as rain.