When a child asks about the source of all the rain that has been pouring down for days, grandfather Big T. says he will reveal that answer after the storm, adding: “But first we’ll have to find the biggest puddle in the world.”
The text is gentle and sweet; the visiting grandchildren (the narrator and a little brother), despite being cooped up inside, show no animosity and only the slightest impatience. When the storm has passed, the same stylized, muted illustrations that revealed grandparents and grandchildren enjoying their lives inside an old, comfortable home give way to the children exploring outside with Big T. and his shaggy dog, Keeper. The quest for the biggest puddle in the world includes wooded areas and meadows, post-rainstorm phenomena such as mushrooms and newly opened wildflowers—and, of course, puddle-jumping. The science of the evaporation cycle is so oversimplified that it is unlikely to register, but the idea that small bodies of water empty into ever larger bodies is clear—and leads to a joyous splashing scene. The return of the voyagers to the big old house and Granny B.’s homemade dessert is just the icing on the cake (or rather, the ice cream on the pie) for the quietly satisfying art and text. All characters present as white.
Familial love, nature appreciation, and a bit of natural science. (Picture book. 4-7)