Friday, May 9, 2014

Rain! by Linda Ashman

Rain! by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Rating: 5 stars

At first glance, you might think, "See?  Picture books are so easy to write."  This is a simple book--a simple idea, written with sparse words; a picture book written with, well, pictures.

It's raining.  And from a tall apartment, two characters get ready for a little walk to a little bakery.  One is a young boy, happily dressed in a hoppy frog outfit, a smile on his face, boots made for splashing in puddles on his feet.  Frog-Boy is celebrating the rain, and his excitement is contagious.  Every person with whom he interacts soon has a smile on his face.

The other character is a grumpy old man whose furrowed brow dives down deeper at the sign of the blasted rain.  "Nasty galoshes.  Blasted overcoat. Dang puddle." he complains.  His grumpiness is contagious.  Every person with whom Old Grumps interacts sobers up and gets serious.

The first page says it all...
The two meet at the Rain or Shine Cafe.  Frog-Boy bumps into Old Grumps, who spits down at him, "Watch out!"  He alone is immune to the cuteness of the boy.  But then Old Grumps forgets his hat, so the Frog-Boy runs after him.  He puts on Old Grumps' hat and mimics him.  Old Grumps realizes right then and there what he looks like.  So he takes the Frog-Boy's hat, squeezes it on his big bald head, smiles, and says, "Ribbit!"

Cheerfulness wins the day!  Hooray!

Linda Ashman was wise to write such a simple, perfect little book about something we parents rant about all the time: attitude.  Have a good one, and not only will you be light and happy, but you'll have a good effect on those you touch during the day.

A simple, sweet book that my kids and I just love.

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