A red fox seeks shelter as a rainstorm builds in intensity.
As the rain begins with a “drip drop,” the fox encounters other creatures, each moving through the pond and forest, finding its own niche or hiding place. The text, in the aptly named Brioso typeface, is scattered across double-page spreads in varying sizes and strengths appropriate to the force of the storm. McCanna’s carefully chosen words are nearly all onomatopoeia, a cacophony of water sounds that resonates on tongue and ear, demanding to be read aloud, moving from “pitter patter” through “gurgle burble” and all the way to “slap and slam,” before finally calming down with “whoosh sigh.” When the rain ends, the syntax changes to verbal commands, exhortations to “sprout” and “sparkle” and “glow.” Text and illustrations weave an interconnected, interdependent tale. There is no mention of the fox or the setting in the text. The creatures and their actions are for readers to discover in Smythe’s brightly hued, digitally finished watercolor illustrations. Frogs and ducks, an owl, snails, a worm, a mouse, and more run, splash, and fly. Hiding eyes watch from behind reeds, mushrooms, and lily pads as the wind whips leaves and branches and trees crash. In the aftermath of the storm, there’s sunshine, a rainbow, and a young fox family. Backmatter introduces such concepts as ecosystems and the water cycle.
Beautiful. (Picture book. 4-8)