A grandfather and grandson weather a storm together in this lovely book by Mary Stolz. When the lights go out the pair pass the time by the grandfather telling a story about how he overcame a fear of storms as a child. The grandson insists he isn’t scared of anything but listens to the story anyway and in the end admits that maybe, just maybe, he might sometimes be scared.
Shetta Crum beautifully captures the feeling of an oppressively hot summer day and the refreshing relief (and fear) that a huge thunderstorm can bring. The simple watercolor illustrations, free-verse text and liberal use of onomatopoeia all work together perfectly here.
If these bears look familiar to you, it’s because they are done by the same illustrator who did the illustrations for the wonderful Karma Wilson bear books. In this book by Paul Bright, a trio of bear siblings crawls into bed one by one with the mom and dad bear during a scary storm. It’s a sweet book with a funny ending that my boys loved.
My David likes funny books and he liked this one by Heather Tekavec. A farm dog is told by the farmer to round up the animals into the barn because “Storm is coming.” The animals are quite frightened because they don’t know who this “Storm” creature is or what he’s going to do. They are actually quite relieved that the wind and rain and hail and lightening will keep Storm away. If it sounds silly, it is. But well-done silly and just the right kind for a 4 yr old and 7 yr old.
As a side note, the author clearly knows cats. The animals are all in a frenzy when the cat calmly asks who Storm is. When no one knows she stretches, closes her eyes, says “Wake me when he gets here,” and falls back asleep.
One half of this book by Crescent Dragonwagon follows the actions of six city dwellers when a needed rainstorm brings relief after a drought. Flip the book over and the other half follows the same city dwellers when the sun finally comes out after a prolonged period of rain. The story mirrors itself in each half. (For example, in one a boy gets out his favorite book of dinosaurs to read, in the other the boy goes to a dinosaur museum.)
There are some authors who you just know that any book you get by them will be well worth reading. These are the authors who I seem to come back to again and again whether I’m browsing the shelves or looking for books on a specific topic.
Nancy Tafuri is one of my go-to authors for picture books for the youngest kids. Her books have beautiful, realistic illustrations and usually very simple (or no) text. Older kids can enjoy them also but young toddlers and preschoolers are especially attracted to them. This book counts from 1-10 as forest animals take cover in a cave during a storm. It then counts down from 10 as the same animals come out of the cave when the danger is over. A simple concept, and as always, done remarkably well.
And if you want to see more of what parents and kids are reading together, check out Read Aloud Thursday at Hope is the Word.