A fearful drop of water makes a momentous discovery in this rhyming debut picture book from a poet.
Ethan begins the day in his cloud home with all his sibling raindrops. The content Ethan knows his place, so when he feels change in the air, he gets worried. One of his brothers embraces the new adventure: “Soon we will be starting our trip. / Water for the ground starts with a drip!” In the face of Ethan’s fear, his brother offers consolation, explaining that water is needed on the ground. Ethan only has to trust in Father Sun and Mother Moon, and he will find himself just where he’s meant to be. Not entirely convinced, Ethan expresses concern when he falls from the cloud in the form of a snowflake. But a sister snowflake comforts him, and Ethan tries to enjoy his descent, and come to terms with losing track of his siblings once he falls into a river. Unable to stay still, Ethan goes with the flow and begins to comprehend that his voyage is taking him where he’s needed (this revelation is accompanied by Wenke’s lovely two-page illustration of the hero looking up at the sun––an image that could inspire more meditative readers to ponder their own journeys). Eventually, Ethan’s escapades end in the sea, and he grasps that he and his family are all connected: “He was one tiny raindrop but as big as the sea. / He was part of the rocks, the rivers, and trees.” Readers are unlikely to learn much about the water cycle here, as Guidera’s science remains on the fuzzy side. Ethan as a raindrop works metaphorically for unexpected transformations. Like Ethan, young readers may be worried about shifts in their routines, and the soothing words from the hero’s siblings and his own realizations may help them begin to deal with sudden problems, such as a friend moving away. The beautiful, painterly illustrations gracefully enhance the narrative. The lengthy poetic text and large vocabulary make this better for lap reading than for newly independent book browsers.
A contemplative text with vibrant illustrations that should appeal to young readers facing significant changes, such as starting a new school.