cover image Rain!


Linda Ashman, illus. by Christian Robinson. Houghton Mifflin, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-547-73395-1

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.)