cover image Listen to the Rain

Listen to the Rain

Bill Martin, Jr.. Henry Holt & Company, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-0682-7

The text and art of this striking picture book seem at odds, but only at first glance. Martin and Archambault's rhythmical and onomatopoetic language playfully describes the sound of rainfrom the beginning ``slow soft sprinkle, / the drip-drop tinkle'' to the ``dripping dripping dropping / the slowly slowly stopping / the fresh / wet / silent / after-time / of rain.'' The paintings, on the other hand, do not offer verisimilitude but contain instead a series of arresting, stylized images. The ``thunder-crashing / sounding pounding roaring rain,'' for example, is illustrated by a forked curve of lightning with a single claw and feather against a storm-pink sky. The juxtaposition of melody and delicate, almost abstract designs offers children new ways of listening and seeing. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)