A young girl discovers the fascination of nature.
Camille is bored one rainy Sunday and decides to go outside. There she communes with the raindrops, sticking out her tongue (“the rain tastes like dust, like clouds”), and “shivers with happiness” when the thunder comes. She talks to the ants, who tell her they are “going to a show.” Camille naturally wonders what the show is, but the story doesn’t go there directly. Instead, Camille cavorts. (Young readers will notice here that the illustrations do not sync with the text, which reads that she ‘“runs her hands through the tall, wet grass” whose “strands tickle her palms,” while the illustration shows Camille stretching on a brick wall and then splashing in a puddle.) When she spies a spider on a rose bush, weaving a web, she, too, mentions the show. Again, Camille wonders what the show is but, again, doesn’t go looking. While pondering a big tree, she inadvertently comes upon the show--a chrysalis opening. While the somewhat-scattered text doesn’t follow a strong story arc, its meandering does underscore the whimsy of an unplanned walk in the rain. However, Dek’s illustrations--rendered in watercolor (but so opaque as to look like gouache)--dampen rather than uplift. Their clunky, ponderous style just doesn’t appropriately complement a story about the evanescence, transformation, and luminosity of nature. All humans shown are white.
A worthy theme of noticing the “show” of nature receives an uninspired illustrative treatment. (Picture book. 3-7)