With colors and compositions conceived to celebrate the allure of water, the book jacket and opening scenes immediately recall Lee’s The Wave (2008).
Three bored children, stuck inside while it pours, are rendered in pencil, with paper-white skin. When the boy turns on the radio, blue swirls of music animate the space; even the stuffed rabbit’s ears perk up. As dance connects music and water, the children skip out into the puddles. Jackson’s words wisely allow room for Lee’s imagination. He makes no reference to rain; that interpretation of a “beautiful day” is the illustrator’s. The story is propelled by the author’s spirited verses, featuring internal and end-of-line rhymes that scan with only an occasional bump: “This beautiful day… / so great for parading, // for cartwheeling fun / or hiding / and seeking // or gliding / and sliding / in this marigold sun.” Listeners will track the momentum of these kinetic kids as they swing from trees with friends, parachuting back to earth with umbrellas à la Mary Poppins. Digitally manipulated acrylics in summery shades fill the pages as the day brightens, offering another take on the title. Popsicles, paired with an e.e. cummings–esque arrangement of “doodly-doo”s and parenthetical bodily sounds, relax this jazzy, pizzazz-y romp—until the wind whips up.
A delightful depiction of the ability of children to find joy regardless of atmospheric conditions. (Picture book. 3-6)