One noise after another wakes Mrs. Strauss from a sound sleep in her small Israeli village.
The rooster’s loud crow wakes her, and then the cat’s meow disturbs her as she tries to fall back to sleep. A mosquito buzzes, while the rooster and cat keep up their calls. “Sheket,” she yells out her window, “Quiet.” Music from the grocer’s radio, the toot-toot of the train whistle, even the swish of the street sweeper all add to the cacophony. Mrs. Strauss pulls her pillow over her head, creating a cool spot to block the harsh sunlight. She falls asleep and dreams of coolness and shade. A different sound awakens her, and this one is heartily welcome; it is the geshem, the heavy rain that will reawaken the parched land. It’s a much longed-for wet day. Readers might wonder why the title is so specific in naming the setting of the tale. But Israel’s climate is really the main character, with long scorching dry spells and that first heavy rain everyone hopes and prays for, and MacLeod weaves hints about the theme in the distress of the animals and the hot, strong sunlight that shines in the window. Beeke’s very bright paintings show the village in the sun’s glare and the rain’s softer light and Mrs. Strauss’ every reaction (and her immovable blue hair, which sits atop her tan face).
A lovely peek into life in Israel. (note) (Picture book. 4-8)