ALL WET1 ALL WET! by James Skofield


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Not a felicitous title. Not, for sure, a novel theme. But more is afoot here than at first appears when we see a little boy, with umbrella, slicker, and boots, gently padding, one rainy dawn, toward the woods. He will be at most a passive observer (unmentioned in the text, perhaps a surrogate for the child-audience)--as, in an entrancing cutaway, the fox and rabbits take to their burrows; as, in one of Skofield's happiest lines, ""the silent fish hear the sound of rain upon their roof."" There is a spot of action, part of nature's give and take: undeterred by the rain, Skunk ""comes upon Quail's unprotected nest. . . snatches up an egg and shuffles on."" We see the ""soft, star-nosed mole"" burrow underground too, while Quail searches vainly for her egg and Skunk, sated, falls asleep. ""The storm trails off. . . light breaks through."" Other plants and animals are noted, responding. The generalized pictures, all smooth slopes and rounded tree trunks, ignore some of this: Stanley is more a conjurer of mood than a captor of the actual. But her star-nosed mole, ""blink[ing] up at the sky,"" is as surely imagined as Skofield's star, ""blink[ing] back at her."" The occasional crystalline image, the happenings that naturally happen, make this more than another rainy-day reprise, if not a surpassing entity.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1984
Publisher: Harper & Row