cover image Sometimes Rain

Sometimes Rain

Meg Fleming, illus. by Diana Sudyka. Beach Lane, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5918-1

Playing children and snow-covered evergreens illuminate verse by Fleming (Ready, Set, Build) that celebrates play throughout the seasons. The writer’s telegraphic lines (“Sometimes splashing. Yellow sun”) let Sudyka (The Secret Keepers) convey the beauty of nature’s change and the things four children and a friendly hound find to do in it. They explore the woods with perfect freedom, cavort in the snow (“Sometimes sledding./ Frozen toes”), make mud pies (“So much melt,/ the mud is growing!”), and crawl through the grass (“Sometimes blazing secret trails./ Sometimes finding/ frogs and snails”). In several spreads, Sudyka paints the movement of air with feathery strokes of blue or white that curl into the forms of birds, animals, and other motifs. It’s a striking effect, especially in combination with quieter observations such as fungus on a tree trunk or seeds floating in the wind. At the end of the adventure, a brother and sister are folded into their mother’s embrace: “Always welcome,/ always home.” Children who have experienced nature up close will recognize all the pleasures Fleming celebrates. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management. Illustrator’s agent: Andrea Morrison and Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Oct.) [/em]