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RAIN by Sam Usher Kirkus Star


by Sam Usher ; illustrated by Sam Usher

Pub Date: March 28th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-7636-9296-4
Publisher: Templar/Candlewick

Seeing the window beaded with morning raindrops, the white child narrator can’t wait to get out into the wet, but Granddad says they should wait until the weather clears.

The second installment of a four-part seasonal series (Snow, 2015), this cheery British import celebrates patience, gleeful fulfillment—and rain. The narrator longs to “catch raindrops, splash in puddles, and look at everything upside down.” But Granddad’s busy writing a letter. Ink drawings (deftly executed and weighted) show redheaded child and bald, paunchy, smiling grandfather amicably indoors together while the rain continues outside. Pleasing primary colors pool both in the homey inside vignettes, appearing like puddles on the blank page, and in the rain-soaked, outdoor double-page spreads. Granddad finally gets giddy about mailing his letter, and the two cross the threshold to behold reflective waters lapping right up to the top step, mirroring the sky and house, creating a topsy-turvy, upside-down, wavy world. Young readers will feel exhilarated by this altered reality, etched out brilliantly with lithe linework and gorgeous washes of color. When Granddad and the boy climb aboard a boat and encounter a carnival boat party, readers will revel in the expansive, exciting scene: goofy gondoliers, bouncing musicians, jingling jesters, a picnicking king and queen, a dark-skinned family enjoying teatime, flapping flags and pennants, soaring polka dots and stripes.

Bright, colorful joy for the rainiest of days.

(Picture book. 2-6)