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.
Richard Jackson is a long-time editor at Atheneum Books for Young Readers and the critically acclaimed author of Have A Look, Says Book, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. In starred reviews, School Library Journal touts it as a “…celebration of sharing a book together” and Publishers Weekly proclaimed it “a shoe-in for the bedtime rotation.” He is also the author of All Ears, All Eyes, illustrated by Katherine Tillotson. Recognized for his distinctive taste in children’s literature, in 2005 he was named as the ALSC May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecturer. He lives with his wife and near his grandchildren in Towson, Maryland.
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)