Here's this week's fabulous pick for Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Book Friday. And, by the way, fabulous is NOT an understatement. And it is an "older" one (well, older than current, anyway) that is well worth reading.
Author: Karen Hesse
Illustrator: Jon J. Muth
Publisher: Scholastic Press, 1999, fiction
Age Range: 4-8 years
Theme/Topics: city life, heat, rain, relationships
First Spread:"Come on, rain!" I say, squinting into the endless heat.
Mama lifts a listless vine and sighs. "Three weeks and not a drop," she says, sagging over her parched plants.
Synopsis (from Google Books): Come on, Rain!" Tess pleads to the sky as listless vines and parched
plants droop in the endless heat. Then the clouds roll in, and the rain
pours. And Tess, her friends, and their Mamas join in a rain dance to
celebrate the shower that renews both body and spirit. Through exquisite
language and acute observation, Karen Hesse evokes this refreshing
experience, and Jon J Muth's lyrical artwork perfectly reflects the
spirit of the text.
Resources: A read-aloud lesson and paired text questions for this book are here. Kids could also make up their own rain dance, and talk about the differences between wet and dry, the water cycle, and what needs rain to grow.
Why I LOVE it: The language. The imagery. Absolutely masterful. This is truly poetry in prose. Lyrical, lovely, and magical. And, of course, the artwork is also gorgeous (just look at the cover!). A wonderful picture of urban life, diversity, longing, relationships - and so much more. I talk a lot - and this one had me speechless for a good amount of time. (and I just saw this one has already been put on the PPBF list a few years ago - but I can't resist reminding folks of it!)
Hope you'll give this book a look - and check out the OTHER perfect picture books for today at Susanna's blog - and Susanna's ever-growing list of wonderful picture books.
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1