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A PERFECT DAY by Jennifer Yerkes Kirkus Star


by Jennifer Yerkes ; illustrated by Jennifer Yerkes

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5577-0
Publisher: Eerdmans

A day that “begins in peaceful harmony” erupts into a summer storm that is likened to a symphony.

Fine-lined illustrations in colored pencils capture a morning in nature. It’s a soothing, onomatopoeic adventure, a “melody” that runs through the day: Birds chirp; crickets go “Cree-cree!”; wasps buzz; frogs croak; and snakes hiss. Suddenly, there is a “Whoosh!” of wind; thunder crashes, and lightning strikes. A hard rain falls. With simple sentences, Yerkes transforms the storm into a musical performance. The gathering winds are drums rolling; the thunder is cymbals crashing; and the driving rain is the “maracas mark[ing] the rhythm.” The delicate linework is especially captivating: Graceful apricot lines swirl to become a paper wasps’ nest; elegant circles in sky blue make room, within the page’s negative space, for a frog’s lily pad; a fox, whose copper-colored fur pops off the page, wanders through delicate, feathery grasses; and spreads with vertical lines dominating (tree branches reaching for the sky and tall grasses) begin to lean right as the winds pick up. Readers are then treated to a beguiling full-bleed, wordless spread of the driving rain—a series of parallel diagonal lines, creating gradients in color (shades of blues and lavenders) and space. Spreads are expertly composed with a brilliant use of white space that lets the story breathe. When the rain subsides, a vividly colored yellow bird shakes water off its feathers on this “perfect summer day.”


(Picture book. 3-9)