Rain Boy

Chronicle. Apr. 2020. 40p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781452172804.
K-Gr 3–Rain Boy is not the most popular kid in school. Wherever he goes, rain accompanies him and the other children become agitated by his presence. One day, Sun Kidd moves to town and the mood of the entire town shifts. Sun Kidd is welcome everywhere because wherever she goes, sun comes with her. For her birthday, Sun Kidd’s parents throw her a surprise sleepover and invite everyone in her class. However, Rain Boy’s attendance soon casts a shadow over the party and he leaves; Rain Boy’s ensuing storm has its own transformative power over the town. Any child who has ever experienced the pain of being left out will embrace this story. Rain Boy and Sun Kidd represent the sunny and rainy dispositions inherent in every human. Detailed watercolor illustrations coupled with succinct text make this book accessible to a wide range of ages. Each image exists somewhere between childlike doodle and reality, the characters recognizable as humans but with occasionally exaggerated features. The endpapers reflect the change that takes place over the course of the story, moving from moody blues to a vivid rainbow. Carefully crafted text serves as an accent to each page, presented with familiar vocabulary. Children and caregivers will be inspired to interpret its deeper meaning.
VERDICT This is a critical addition to elementary collections to build empathy and acceptance.

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