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DARK CLOUD STRONG BREEZE by Susan Patron

DARK CLOUD STRONG BREEZE

By Susan Patron (Author) , Peter Catalanotto (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-531-06815-3
Publisher: Orchard

 ``Dark cloud strong breeze/Inside the car Daddy's locked his keys,'' begins this fanciful story of a mishap that balloons into an eventful sequence. The locksmith will help if he has a guard for his shop; a stray dog will guard it in exchange for shelter; a grocer needs a cat to catch mice; etc. (It's not clear until later that the grocer will provide boxes for the dog's shelter.) The car is finally unlocked and the rains fall; but unfortunately, the idea hasn't been developed with either Patron's or Catalanotto's usual skill. The mixture of fantasy and ordinary neighborhood reality is uneasy; onomatopoeic words like ``smasha-me smit'' or ``swisha-me swhy'' seem contrived; and though Catalanotto's watercolors--color insets of the action superimposed on the larger street scene in grisaille--are nicely observed in detail, they are also cluttered and confusing. All in all, coming from an author and an illustrator with a number of fine books to their separate credit, a disappointment. (Picture book. 4-8)