cover image Nothing Ever Happens on a Gray Day

Nothing Ever Happens on a Gray Day

Grant Snider. Chronicle, $17.99 (44p) ISBN 978-1-79721-089-6

A lanky child with dark straight hair and skin that reflects the white of the page narrates this meditation on the way boredom can turn into perception. In a last-ditch effort to fight the lassitude of a day so gray that “even the rain is too bored to fall,” the youth takes off on a rickety bicycle and rides through town, “past quiet apartments/ and loud barking dogs,” arriving at a playground enclosed by a chain-link fence. But nothing’s doing there, either, and they’re greeted only by “lonely see-saws” and “creaky swings.” Beyond the playground, though, a winding path that leads to a creek offers discoveries with scope for imagination—an old silo-shaped building (“A forgotten castle?”) and a culvert (“a deep, dark cave? ECHO!”)—suggesting itself as a place to wait for something to happen. Pared-down illustrations by Snider (One Boy Watching) feature a stick figure–like protagonist amid a palette of grays and stylized primary shades. After an encounter with the natural world interrupts the monotony, those same hues jump out of the landscape (“Hello, red bike.// Hello, yellow leaf”) in this vivid tracing of interior transformation. Ages 5–8. Agent: Judy Hansen, Hansen Literary. (Sept.)