Blue on Blue

illus. by Beth Krommes. 48p. S. & S./Beach Lane. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442412675; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442456877. LC 2012014239.
PreS—A beautiful sunny day darkens as clouds gather and rain arrives. From morning till bedtime, the story follows a young family on their farm. Rhyming, spare text augments the striking scratchboard and watercolor illustrations. Round shapes and subtle warm colors create a sense of love and safety despite the storm. Rich illustrations invite close study with details such as the farmer's hat blowing off as "Clouds swell./Winds blow bolder." During the height of the storm, both child and dog huddle under the covers while the dad leads spooked horses into the barn. Only the goldfish remain unbothered as "Thunder!/Lightning!/Raging, roaring./Rain on rain on rain is pouring." Careful pacing stands out, especially as the storm slowly ends and the family and animals return outside to play in the mud and finish their day with outdoor baths for the dogs and an indoor one for the child. The combination of limited, strong text; rich illustrations; and child-centric perspective make this a strong choice for storytimes and one-on-one sharing.—Suzanne Myers Harold, formerly at Multnomah County Library System, Portland, OR
"Cotton clouds. / Morning light. / Blue on blue. / White on white." Succinct couplets take readers from a beautiful morning through a thunderstorm to a peaceful conclusion. Inviting scratchboard illustrations set this meteorological report on a cozy farm; they feature sturdy rounded forms and strong compositions where straight lines (such as pelting rain) counterpoint the prevailing curves (from a puddle to the earth itself).
"Cotton clouds. / Morning light./ Blue on blue. / White on white." Blue sky and a blue lake promise a lovely day, and so it will be, even with upcoming changeable weather included: "Gray on gray. Dark and glooming. / Black on black. Storm is looming." Succinct couplets trace wind and rain to their gentler aftermath until "Glitter stars,/ twinkling light./ Black on gold.../ on silver night." Inviting illustrations set this meteorological report on a cozy farm. Dogs and children, alarmed by thunder, scoot inside; farm animals scurry for shelter. Post-storm revelers include blissful pigs in mud and a puddle-happy child. Krommes's (The House in the Night) scratchboard technique--elegant yet assertive black outlines; sturdy rounded forms; strong compositions where straight lines (such as pelting rain) counterpoint the prevailing curves (from a puddle to the earth itself)--makes this a particularly handsome book, here glowing with a rainbow of added watercolor. To extend the pleasurable shivers and delights of summer storms, share this with Hesse's Come On, Rain! (rev. 7/99) and McCloskey's Time of Wonder

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing