Rain! by Linda Ashman and Christian Robinson

Rain! tells the story of two very different people — a little boy and an old man — whose paths cross on one fine/dreary (depending on who you ask!) rainy day. The story is cleverly told in parallel, so on one page, the old man, who clearly regards the rain to be an annoyance, is seen grumbling nonstop as he dresses and makes his way out of his house; in contrast, on the facing page, the little boy, equating rain to fun, excitedly puts on his rain gear before leaving the house with his mom and gleefully jumping into the puddles.

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As each goes his way, we see that their respective moods inevitably infect everyone they come across. Then, as it turns out, both the old man and the little boy and his mom are headed to the same coffeeshop.

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There, circumstances unfold such that the boy’s carefree, happy nature eventually wins over the grouchy old man, who leaves the coffeeshop with a lighter, more youthful heart.

We really liked this cute little story and its positive message about how we can choose to make the best of a situation that is not ideal, instead of allowing it to get the better of us. The text is minimal, so the adorably expressive cut-paper-style artwork plays a huge role in telling the story. Also, it’s clear that the authors put a lot of thought into the design of the book as a whole — even the font used for each person’s speech is differentiated for added character and clarity.

If the book could be summarised by a song, this would be it:

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best…
And…

… always look on the bright side
of life…

(Whistle)

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