Rainstorm

Barbara Lehman, Author . Houghton $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0618-75639-1

Like her previous titles (Museum Trip ; The Red Book ), Lehman's new book follows a lone child on a magical wordless journey. But this one celebrates a slightly more plausible trip, and offers its hero friendship. As the book opens, a boy dressed neatly in short pants and a tie listlessly kicks his ball around a stately gray manor house on a rainy day. He finds an old key under a chair, and, after a couple of false starts, locates the trunk it opens. Within the trunk, a ladder leads down into a tunnel, a long passageway and then a winding staircase up again. He emerges atop a sunny island lighthouse, where he's greeted by three children. In Lehman's watercolors, the landscape emerges in sturdy forms and cheerful solid hues, an ideal setting for the magnificent day the boy spends with his new friends, flying kites and playing catch. The boy's contentment shows in his bare feet and open shirt. Better still, unlike most magical journeys, this one can be repeated. The next day is another wet one, and the boy, hurrying through the tunnel, meets the lighthouse children coming the other way toward him. Lehman's creation recalls old-fashioned English adventure stories that use charmed means to bring coddled children outdoors for healthy fun. Now even nonreaders can have a magic adventure story of their very own; they'll treasure it. Ages 3-5. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/05/2007
Release date: 04/01/2007
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 30 pages - 978-1-4287-3564-4
Open Ebook - 32 pages - 978-0-547-34912-1
Ebook - 32 pages - 978-0-547-77148-9
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