cover image Catty Jane Who Hated the Rain

Catty Jane Who Hated the Rain

Valeri Gorbachev. Boyds Mills, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59078-700-7

The story of how Catty Jane’s friends help her combat her fears about the rain is simply told with illustrations that amusingly amplify the emotions of the text. Gorbachev (How to Be Friends with a Dragon) is particularly good at showing the body language and facial expressions of his animal characters, who cavort inside and out during a storm. Catty Jane thinks rainy days are “gray. And dreary. And wet,” and her feelings are dramatically rendered with pictures of the Richard Scarry–like orange kitten sitting on a sofa with a pillow on her head or slumped dejectedly at the table. Catty Jane’s friends (a pig, goose, and frog) tumble into the house in their raingear as Mrs. Cat listens to them share their delight in rainy day activities with their parents. But Catty Jane is unconvinced until her friends cajole her into joining a “rainy-day party” inside her house. The illustrations are storybook old-fashioned—mothers even wear I Love Lucy–style bandanas and kerchiefs—but the loving families, joyful friends, and action-filled pages should reassure even the most fearful storm watchers. Ages 3–8. (June)