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PUDDLE by Richard Jackson Kirkus Star


by Richard Jackson ; illustrated by Chris Raschka

Pub Date: March 26th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-06-265195-2
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

A self-conscious puddle experiences growth, is used and fouled, and finds purpose as she interacts with her environment and reflects the world’s beauty while finding her own.

As rain pools on the ground, a personified puddle worries she’s becoming a “pudge” compared to her siblings. Blue-grays mingle to create a melancholy mood until a sea gull descends to play in her waters. Soon sneakers, a ball, and—to Puddle’s alarm—a poodle and its piddle disgrace the poor puddle. But sudden sunshine dries up the shallow pools that are her siblings, and golden hues softly glow around and from the solitary puddle. A bell rings and children stop, dazzled by the sky, the puddle, and the rainbow reflected in each. The reach of a child toward that radiance makes all the humiliations of the day melt away; to the puddle the reach is everything. Expressionistic paintings, done in watercolor with gouache, play like music. Propelled by Jackson’s rhythmic read-aloud text, the abstract artwork reveals the changing inner and outer workings of the puddle, moving from dark to light and doubt to love. With his willingness to experiment and the earnestness with which he applies each stroke of his brush, Raschka perfectly captures a child’s wonder and excitement in the world.

Luminous and lovely, with colors to fill the soul.

(Picture book. 4-8)