A joyous tribute to the wonders of a rainy day for the pluviophile in all of us.

HELLO, RAIN!

A child and pet dog relish a rainy day.

Child and pet stare out the window as clouds gather. Excitedly, as the rain goes “plink, plunk, plonk” on the rooftop, the child dons a raincoat and boots and grabs an umbrella. (Even the dog gets a rain jacket.) The pair delight in the sensory adventure that is play in the rain: They ponder words for rain, the creatures who seek it, and the growing things nourished by it; jump in puddles; launch paper boats near a “curbside waterfall”; and find a quiet spot under a tree to sit for “whisper-talk.” When thunder and lightning fill the sky, they run inside to get warm and dry. In text that begs to be shared aloud, evocative figurative language (“the air is full of waiting” and “umbrellas bloom”), a heaping dose of onomatopoeia (“Crack! Flash!”), and delicious vocabulary (deluge, drizzle, and bursting) vividly animate the thrill of heading outside when “the sky is an adventure.” The illustrations themselves burst with life, movement, and mirth. Cerulean (for the rain) and yellow (for raincoats) hues enchant. One especially pleasing spread gives readers an aerial view of flowers, fruits, and vegetables that benefit from the drink that is the cool, fresh rain. Afterward, the sun and even a rainbow dazzle: “Hello, Sun!” The child has rosy-cheeked pink skin and straight, black hair in pigtails.

A joyous tribute to the wonders of a rainy day for the pluviophile in all of us. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4521-3819-0

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy.

ROBOBABY

Robo-parents Diode and Lugnut present daughter Cathode with a new little brother—who requires, unfortunately, some assembly.

Arriving in pieces from some mechanistic version of Ikea, little Flange turns out to be a cute but complicated tyke who immediately falls apart…and then rockets uncontrollably about the room after an overconfident uncle tinkers with his basic design. As a squad of helpline techies and bevies of neighbors bearing sludge cake and like treats roll in, the cluttered and increasingly crowded scene deteriorates into madcap chaos—until at last Cath, with help from Roomba-like robodog Sprocket, stages an intervention by whisking the hapless new arrival off to a backyard workshop for a proper assembly and software update. “You’re such a good big sister!” warbles her frazzled mom. Wiesner’s robots display his characteristic clean lines and even hues but endearingly look like vaguely anthropomorphic piles of random jet-engine parts and old vacuum cleaners loosely connected by joints of armored cable. They roll hither and thither through neatly squared-off panels and pages in infectiously comical dismay. Even the end’s domestic tranquility lasts only until Cathode spots the little box buried in the bigger one’s packing material: “TWINS!” (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 52% of actual size.)

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-544-98731-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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