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RAIN! by Linda Ashman Kirkus Star


by Linda Ashman ; illustrated by Christian Robinson

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 5th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-547-73395-1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

A child and an adult look at rain from both sides.

For the grumpy man, a rainy day is cause for complaint, but for the boy, it is undiluted joy. The man dons his “[n]asty galoshes” and “[b]lasted overcoat,” while the boy is delighted to put on his rain gear. The boy happily and energetically responds to the greetings of his neighbors as he hops like a frog into the puddles. The man snaps at everyone and harrumphs his way through the streets. At the aptly named Rain or Shine Café, they bump into each other, and the boy’s cheerfulness is rebuffed. But he is not about to let this setback kill his enthusiasm. An act of kindness and a bit of role playing lead to a change of heart, a happier outlook and a big splash. Text and illustrations are bound together in a package that is beautifully constructed and perfectly complementary. Ashman sets up the collision of disparate perspectives and imparts the essence of the tale in just a few well-chosen phrases. Robinson’s paint-and-collage digital renderings fill the city setting with crisp details. The boy and the man move briskly through the pages along with a cast of supporting characters and passersby, all of whom are depicted with expressive individuality.

Altogether delightful. (Picture book. 4-8)