The Children's Book Compass

Waiting Out The Storm – Picture Book

Posted on: April 9, 2010

Waiting Out the Storm by Joann Macken.  Illustrated by Susan Gaber.  Candlewick Press.  Pages not numbered.  Grades K-3.  Picture Book.

A young girl and her mother are outside picking daffodils.  But a storm is brewing and the child is anxious, asking.  “Mama?  Yes, buttercup? What’s that I hear?  It’s only the wind in the treetops, my dear.  Why does it whistle?  A storm’s on its way.  The wind calls the raindrops to come out and play.” The dialogue between the mother and child continues as they make their way home with the mother offering reassurances to the child’s fears and questions about the storm.  The text is easy to read with the larger font used to indicate the child’s speech and italics used for the mother’s.  The rhythm, rhymes and cadence of the words are melodies for the ear.  The large size illustrations capture the mood of the storm and the beauty of the natural world as the rain renews the earth.  The softly colored acrylic paintings are comforting even showing birds and animals sheltering from the storm curled up in cozy nests and burrows.  Just like the mother and her daughter when they reach home – “Cozy as bunnies!  Yes, snuggling together.”  Children will love comparing this book with Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco.

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