A boy misses his best friend whenever it rains. And there have been 269 days of rain since she moved away a year ago.
In this atmospheric tale translated from the original Norwegian, the rain reflects his melancholy. Full-bleed art awash in grays deepens the feeling, and the boy appears almost exclusively alone. Even in the classroom his loneliness is visceral. Mom is mentioned, and Dad appears in the picture sometimes, but they seem remote too. He wishes he had a cat to curl up in his lap. When the doorbell rings, it’s not his friend but the letter carrier—with a welcome package from his very best friend: chocolate and a playful note. This brings back fond memories. “She made the sun rise and shine within him.” The gorgeous, image-rich text and the repetition of phrases drive home his sadness…and hope. Finally, the sky is blue and a car pulls up in front of his friend’s old house. A new girl carrying a cat in her arms steps out. The cover illustration, of the boy and his friend “playing Indian,” repeats an inside spread and will likely give many North American readers pause.
Eloquent, poignant, this is for sensitive young readers who are missing old friends but ready to admit new ones. (Picture book. 6-9)