A rainy day stimulates a young girl’s imagination in this children’s book.
Charli, crippled by boredom, really wants to go outside to play with her friends. Unfortunately, the weather isn’t cooperating—it’s raining cats and dogs out there: “The wind howled and the leaves swirled like ballerinas in the air.” Her parents, buried in their own tasks, barely notice the rain, but Charli is praying for it to end. After she drags herself back to her bedroom to sulk, she notices a bit of color inside her toy box. It’s a feather, which is attached to a black-and-white striped hat, a gift from her grandmother. As Charli begins to dress herself in items from her toy box (including the hat, a pair of gardening gloves, her mother’s wedding shoes, and an old lace blouse), she has an idea to throw herself an indoor tea party. As she goes about setting up her afternoon tea, her parents silently watch the hullabaloo. Finally, Charli’s mother and father bring milk and cookies to join Charli in her adventure. Soon, all three forget about the rain. Johnson’s (Charli’s Fantastic Day at the Park, 2014) book features a very real childhood problem: what is there to do on a rainy day? Charli finds something to do fairly quickly—so quickly, in fact, that the story somewhat falls flat. She moves from being disillusioned to being delighted in just a few sentences. More deliberate pacing would have lengthened the tale and drawn readers in. The book, as reviewed, also lacks illustrations, and children’s literature, particularly of this length, needs drawings to engage readers and make it a book that the whole family (or, at least, kids of all ages) can enjoy. Still, the prose itself is fairly simple and will keep the attention of the youngest readers, and the littlest ones will definitely ask for the book at bedtime. This second book in the series sets the stage for many more Charli adventures to come.
An uncomplicated look at finding the silver lining during a storm.