Rain, like heavy snow, is an inconvenience, delaying our important, grown-up tasks. But for kids, a waterlogged street is an opportunity for an extraordinary day. Author-illustrator Sam Usher throws open the front door to whomever, or whatever, might pass by.
Rain begins with rain—lots of it. Granddad is reluctant to go outside, but Sam knows there are monsters and voyages out in that soaking, reflective world. While their home is warm and cozy, the storm beckons, and our imagination grows wings (or perhaps a rudder).
Usher is a storybook wizard, using simple first-person language to tell a story that resonates with children. He even manages to peg the reasonable, calm voice grown-ups use to speak with kids (and that kids often echo). His illustrations, while unpretentious, are detailed, artistic and colorful; the raindrops are so realistic they could be photographs. Little reader spotting tip: Watch the stuffed animals, who seem to mimic Sam’s moods and occasionally sport seriously bored expressions.
While Rain is a fun read in its own right, it’s also a delightful elbow-in-the-side reminder to look up from our adult routines once in a while. After all, you never know what might float by.