cover image Storm


W. Nikola-Lisa. Atheneum Books, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-689-31704-0

Two children watch as a storm descends suddenly on a summer afternoon, then swirls away as quickly as it came. This quietly effective prose poem evokes the sights and sounds of the gathering gale (``Blue sky darkened. Lightning in the hills.''), captures the children's excitement and a slight frisson of danger at the potential destruction (``the farmer stares from his window as water races past his newly planted seed''). But soon the storm passes, becoming ``just a lace skirt draped over the distant mountain rise.'' The precise, delicately phrased observations are well served by Hays's veiled artwork, which seems to glow from within. Textured clouds of deep blues and purples gradually become shot though with shafts of golden sunlight, imparting a clean, shimmering air to the summer squall. Unusual colorations add interest to this slight but satisfying collaboration. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)