Written by Dianne White, Illustrated by Beth Krommes
Beach Lane Books, 2014
Cotton clouds. Morning Light.
The plot in a nutshell: Nature and storms have lots of colors.
In the morning, there are lots of fluffy clouds in the sky and it’s a great day to play outside at the farm. But the weather changes and the sky gets darker. A storm brings lightning, thunder and lots of rain. Slowly, the rain stops, leaving muddy ground all around. When the sun goes down, the moon comes up, bringing new colors into the sky.
This book was set up in a shelf top display at my library and the gorgeous cover caught my attention right away. As you can tell from the summary above, there’s not a lot to the story here, but that certainly doesn’t mean there’s not a lot to this book. In her first book, author Dianne White chooses just the right words to put us in the middle of the farm with this family and experience this rainstorm with them. It goes beyond just telling us what happens, too. We feel all the emotions that come along with a day like this, including the fear of loud thunder crashes and the gloominess of dark skies and dripping rain. The evocative text rhymes beautifully and creates gorgeous mental imagery, all the way from the cotton clouds of morning to the silver night.
Of course, it was Beth Krommes’ cover art that drew me to the book in the first place and they are even more beautiful on the inside. The illustrations are done in scratchboard and watercolor and the combination gives the whole book a wonderful folk art feel that is perfect for its farm setting. There are lots of animals in the artwork, including the farm animals and the family pets, and they provide a nice complement to the family. The final image, of a whale leaping from the ocean with the dark night sky above, is just breathtaking. It rained the day I read this book and made me wish I was living on a farm.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that, whether you enjoy them or not, there are lots of facets to a rainstorm.