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This Beautiful Day

Illustrated by Suzy Lee

In the tradition of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, acclaimed author Richard Jackson and award-winning illustrator Suzy Lee prove you can chase away any grey and gloomy day with just the right attitude, and a little bit of color.

Why spend a rainy day inside? As three children embrace a grey day, they seems to beckon the bright as they jump, splash, and dance outside, chasing the rain away. The day’s palette shifts from greys to a hint of blue, then more blue. Then green! Then yellow! Until the day is a technicolor extravaganza that would make Mary Poppins proud. A joyous homage to the power of a positive attitude.

(c) Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson was a long-time editor at Atheneum Books for Young Readers and the critically acclaimed author of a number of books, including Have A Look, Says Book., illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, which Publishers Weekly proclaimed “a shoe-in for the bedtime rotation;” All Ears, All Eyes, illustrated by Katherine Tillotson; and This Beautiful Day, illustrated by Suzy Lee, which received three starred reviews. 

Suzy Lee is the critically acclaimed illustrator and author of many books for children including Wave, which was awarded the Gold Medal for Original Art by the Society of Illustrators and was a New York Times Best Illustrated Book; Shadow, which was a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book; and Open This Little Book, which was awarded the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature (Picture Book Honor Winner). She lives and works in Seoul, South Korea.

With colors and compositions conceived to celebrate the allure of water, the book jacket and opening scenes immediately recall Lee's The Wave (2008).Three bored children, stuck inside while it pours, are rendered in pencil, with paper-white skin. When the boy turns on the radio, blue swirls of music animate the space; even the stuffed rabbit's ears perk up. As dance connects music and water, the children skip out into the puddles. Jackson's words wisely allow room for Lee's imagination. He makes no reference to rain; that interpretation of a "beautiful day" is the illustrator's. The story is propelled by the author's spirited verses, featuring internal and end-of-line rhymes that scan with only an occasional bump: "This beautiful day… / so great for parading, // for cartwheeling fun / or hiding / and seeking // or gliding / and sliding / in this marigold sun." Listeners will track the momentum of these kinetic kids as they swing from trees with friends, parachuting back to earth with umbrellas à la Mary Poppins. Digitally manipulated acrylics in summery shades fill the pages as the day brightens, offering another take on the title. Popsicles, paired with an e.e. cummings-esque arrangement of "doodly-doo"s and parenthetical bodily sounds, relax this jazzy, pizzazz-y romp—until the wind whips up. A delightful depiction of the ability of children to find joy regardless of atmospheric conditions. (Picture book. 3-6) 

– Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW, 6/1/17

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