Reviews for Rainstorm

Booklist Reviews 2007 January #1
The author of Museum Trip (2006) returns to a wordless format to tell this story of a boy who finds that the house he lives in offers more than he imagines. The book opens to a picture of a boy looking out tall windows as rain spatters the panes. Bored and lonely, the child wanders the house and finds a key and a chest. Opening the chest, he discovers a ladder leading to a basement; then he goes through a door and up a staircase. This Alice in Wonderland-like journey ends on a sunny island, where the boy meets some children to play with.^B The boy goes home after a thrilling day, but he finds a way to return to see his friends. Once again, Lehman provides purely colored, precisely rendered artwork that capably captures both adventures and emotions. Unfortunately, this rather straightforward story leaves little space for children to use their imaginations. It does, however, beautifully capture the deja vu feeling that comes when reality mingles with the longing of dreams. ((Reviewed January 1 & 15, 2007)) Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Fall
What's a lonely lad to do on a rainy day? This one finds a key that unlocks a trunk that hides a ladder that leads to a tunnel to the lighthouse first glimpsed on the title spread. This wordless book offers plenty of visual details in the clean, rectilinear compositions as it gives viewers many connections to mull over. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2007 #3
What's a lonely lad to do on a rainy day? This one finds a key that unlocks a trunk that hides a ladder that leads to a tunnel from his mansion home to the distant lighthouse first glimpsed (just barely) on the title spread. There, in bright sun, he plays with children and a dog -- flying kites, building sandcastles, playing tag. At sundown the boy puts his shoes back on, reties his tie, and goes home for a solitary, formal dinner; but the next rainy day brings the lighthouse children to his house (where the sun is now shining) to share his toys. This wordless book is close kin to Lehman's 2005 Caldecott Honor, The Red Book (rev. 9/04): again, clean, rectilinear compositions connote confinement of place and spirit, though the heavy, rough-edged drafting has a softer effect here, lightened by vistas of sea, sky, and happy children. The motif of an imaginative journey to a place virtually the opposite of the one escaped also recurs, though with significant differences: except for the not-quite-impossible tunnel and mood-reflecting weather, this is a realistic tale of finding friendship -- or, perhaps, of overcoming sadness. Its logic is less intriguing than The Red Book's, but it's more accessible. And there are plenty of significant visual details and connections to mull over as viewers put these curious events into words. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2007 March #1
Boredom leads to excitement when a little boy, trapped by rain, finds wonder and escape in an unlikely place. A bouncing ball leads the lonely child through his Edwardian-era stately home to a key, and then to a steamer trunk, in which he discovers a ladder. The intrepid explorer descends into a tunnel, then ascends a staircase into a glorious sunny day, where he finds a trio of new friends. He does not seem to notice, though readers will, that he has emerged into the modern day, but the universal vocabulary of childhood easily breaks temporal barriers. Lehman compacts a wealth of storytelling into her wordless narrative, large single panels speeding up to two six-panel pages as the tie-clad boy makes his way down the ladder and through the tunnel, then slowing down again as he enjoys the wonderment of his experience and his new friends. Pronounced black outlines contain the action with such definition that the rare full-bleed spread is all the more effective when it occurs, punctuating the boy's escape. Another surrealist triumph from a vigorous emerging talent. (Picture book. 4-9) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 February #1

Like her previous titles (Museum Trip ; The Red Book ), Lehman's new book follows a lone child on a magical wordless journey. But this one celebrates a slightly more plausible trip, and offers its hero friendship. As the book opens, a boy dressed neatly in short pants and a tie listlessly kicks his ball around a stately gray manor house on a rainy day. He finds an old key under a chair, and, after a couple of false starts, locates the trunk it opens. Within the trunk, a ladder leads down into a tunnel, a long passageway and then a winding staircase up again. He emerges atop a sunny island lighthouse, where he's greeted by three children. In Lehman's watercolors, the landscape emerges in sturdy forms and cheerful solid hues, an ideal setting for the magnificent day the boy spends with his new friends, flying kites and playing catch. The boy's contentment shows in his bare feet and open shirt. Better still, unlike most magical journeys, this one can be repeated. The next day is another wet one, and the boy, hurrying through the tunnel, meets the lighthouse children coming the other way toward him. Lehman's creation recalls old-fashioned English adventure stories that use charmed means to bring coddled children outdoors for healthy fun. Now even nonreaders can have a magic adventure story of their very own; they'll treasure it. Ages 3-5. (Apr.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2007 March

PreS-Gr 2-- In a mansion by the sea, a lonely boy finds a mysterious key under a chair. Curious to discover what it opens, he tries each lock until finally he succeeds in opening a large trunk with a ladder inside. As he climbs down the ladder, he finds himself in a passageway beneath the sea that eventually leads him to a lighthouse where a group of children and their dog become his instant friends. They have lunch, play ball, fly kites, and play on the beach until it is time for him to retrace his steps. This wordless story is straightforward but not predictable. The mystery of the key, the discovery of the passageway, and the obvious enjoyment of the children at play are all pleasantly depicted in brightly colored, simple watercolor, gouache, and ink illustrations that combine full-page images, spreads, and pages of sequential panels. There are nicely done details such as the elaborate dinner service placed on the table at the mansion and the spiral stairway at the lighthouse. This appealing rainy-day tale will stir the imagination of those who have ever looked for something to do on a gloomy day.--Carol Schene, formerly at Taunton Public Schools, MA

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