cover image Before the Storm

Before the Storm

Jane Yolen. Boyds Mills Press, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56397-240-9

``It was a hot summer day,/ the air crackling with heat''-Strider the dog lies in the sun, Jordie sits motionless on the swing, and Pete and Sara read and color. When Jordie brings out the hose everyone leaps with gusto into the cool spray, happy to escape the heat for even a moment. Then a real storm comes, and by the end of the thunder, lightning and rain Jordie is wishing for the sun again. In one of her more workmanlike efforts, Yolen (Good Griselle; The Wild Hunt, reviewed below) focuses on the listless, languid feel of a day in the baking sun and the surprise of a sudden downpour; the target audience is likelier to be much younger than that suggested by the publisher. First-time illustrator Pugh's incandescent oils favor strong, sometimes harsh colors which shimmer with heat, while her thick, quick brushstrokes suggest the heaviness of the summer air. Ages 6-9. (May)