STARRED REVIEW
August 2017

Sunny attitude on a rainy day

By Richard Jackson, illustrated by Suzy Lee
Review by

The cover of Richard Jackson’s This Beautiful Day, a glass-half-full story of cheer and resilience, says it all: A child walks through pouring rain with an umbrella. The sky is dark. The clouds are heavy. But the child still smiles. It’s a beautiful day, no matter what, if you decide to see it as such.

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BookPage Children’s Top Pick, August 2017

The cover of Richard Jackson’s This Beautiful Day, a glass-half-full story of cheer and resilience, says it all: A child walks through pouring rain with an umbrella. The sky is dark. The clouds are heavy. But the child still smiles. It’s a beautiful day, no matter what, if you decide to see it as such.

The story opens indoors, where three young children stare outside at the heavy rain and dark clouds. They are bored and more than a little defeated. But one child turns up the music on the radio, and they begin to dance and spin. Determined to make the most of crummy weather, they grab their rain gear and head outside, stomping in the puddles, jumping and playing. Jackson’s playful text, heavy on busy verbs, bursts with action: “This beautiful day has all of us skipping and singing and calling aloud. . . .”

The body language in Suzy Lee’s relaxed, loose-lined illustrations is spot-on, the children nearly bursting from the pages in all their joy. Her palette opens wide, as the monochromatic colors of the rainy day fade to reveal bright, sunny colors when the clouds pull away.

It’s as if the entire story is one big contented sigh; the storyline builds with infectious energy to a happy climax, then slows down in the end when the family sits outdoors, popsicles in hand, happy for the beautiful day they were smart enough to spot before the sun ever showed.

Invigorating and inspiring, This Beautiful Day is the perfect summer read.

 

Julie Danielson features authors and illustrators at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, a children’s literature blog.

This article was originally published in the August 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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This Beautiful Day

This Beautiful Day

By Richard Jackson, illustrated by Suzy Lee
Caitlyn Dlouhy
ISBN 9781481441391

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