Good and bad moods alike can be contagious, as this rainy-day story handily demonstrates. Writing solely in dialogue and exclamations, Ashman (Samantha on a Roll) contrasts the ways two people view a city rainstorm. "Rain!" grumps a cantankerous man, staring at the storm from underneath bushy furrowed eyebrows. "Rain!" shouts a boy from the window of a building whose sunny color matches his outlook. For him, rain means putting on his best froggy rain gear, splashing in puddles, and enjoying sweets at the local cafe with his mother. Along the way, the boy charms everyone he meets--the exact opposite of what the older man is doing (frowns abound when he's near). When the two eventually meet, it's not certain which attitude will win out, but luckily for the diverse townsfolk, the boy's kindness and openness rule the day. Working in paint and collage, Robinson (Harlem's Little Blackbird) offers bright, blocky city scenes that radiate a sense of exuberance, making it clear whose side he's on. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Jennifer Mattson, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
PreS-K--On a dreary, rainy day, two strangers have very different views about the weather: one is an elderly man who grumbles and complains throughout the day, and the other is a little boy who makes the most of the puddles on the sidewalk. When they meet at the Rain or Shine Café, the child finds himself momentarily brought down by the man's sullen demeanor until a mix-up with their hats brings out the old man's smile and optimism. Each page depicts how the characters' attitudes alter the moods of those around them: people around the older man are frowning and vexed; people around the boy are smiling and happy. Robinson's paint-and-collage artwork is bright and eye-catching; it's perfect for storytime sharing. The urban setting is reflected in the diverse cast of characters, but suburban and rural children will also connect with the story. Ashman's text has no more than six words per page; it is really the illustrations that fill in the details. This will be ideal to share in late winter when everyone is suffering from the winter blues and needs a reminder to make the most of the gloom and gray.--Laura Lutz, Pratt Institute, New York City[Page 106]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.