cover image Blue on Blue

Blue on Blue

Dianne White, illus. by Beth Krommes. S&S/Beach Lane, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4424-1267-5

Centered on a whitewashed New England farmhouse and the fields and ocean that surround it, Krommes’s nostalgic scratchboard and watercolor spreads bring newcomer White’s clipped verse to life. The morning is fine, and the farmer’s daughter jumps rope while her mother hangs the wash. But a thunderstorm is coming: huge black clouds pile up as wind gusts drive leaves airborne: “Thunder! Lightning!/ Raging, roaring./ Rain on rain on rain is pouring.” Caldecott Medalist Krommes (The House in the Night) shows the girl and her dog hiding under the bedclothes; the girl’s mother puts her baking aside to comfort the baby. When the worst is over (“Winds shift. Drops drip”), the girl plays in the mud, then helps her father bathe the family dogs as the sun sets. “Glitter stars, twinkling light” views the house from down low, the surrounding wildflowers appearing to dance amid the stars. White’s graceful pacing spreads the energy of the storm across the arc of the story, while Krommes’s primitive folk art gives a sense of the rhythms of life and nature that recur from season to season, year to year. Ages 5–8. (Sept.)