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Rain, Fog and Snow: New Books for Younger Readers

octopusOctopus Alone by Divya Srinivasan
Octopus hides in her dark cave. Her tentacles curve and twist around her bulbous body as she shyly watches the busy reef outside. When several small seahorses try to play, Octopus flees. In her attempts to avoid the curious creatures, she finds herself away from the reef, her familiar cave, and the seahorses she realizes are friends. With gorgeous, lush colors and sweetly realistic renderings, Srinivasan paints a tale of underwater life that is both exotic and touchingly reminiscent of the busy landscape of the playground. (Ages 3 – 7)

rainRain! by Linda Ashman, pictures by Christian Robinson

It’s raining! In separate apartments, an old man and a young boy prepare to venture into the watery world outside. The old man growls, “Nasty galoshes. Blasted overcoat.” The young boy chirps, “It’s raining frogs and pollywogs! Hippity-hop!” When the cranky senior leaves his cap at the Rain or Shine Cafe, where the boy and his mother are munching cocoa and cookies, the ebullient youngster races to return it to him. What happens next is the crux of this sweet fable of positive energy, told in bold collage graphics and pitch-perfect renderings of a rainy urban landscape. (Ages 4 – 8)

fog islandFog Island by Tomi Ungerer
Finn and Cara live in a poor Irish sea town. When their father builds them their own small boat, he warns them never to sail near Fog Island, the menacing tower of rock that looms far off shore. But when the thick fog envelopes the children’s boat one day, they find themselves lost at sea — and washed up on Fog Island! There, they meet a magical man with hair that cascades from his head to his toes, a candle headband, and a machine that magics up fog from the very core of the earth. Only Tomi Ungerer, the legendary provocateur of children’s literature, could summon up this imaginative, surprising, and totally satisfying fable of bravery and surprise. (Ages 4 – 8)

The-Reader-coverThe Reader by Amy Hest, illustrated by Lauren Castillo
Yes, it’s August. But I can’t resist this snowy tale of  a boy, a dog, a steep hill of white, and a sled ferrying one beloved book with “a long, loopy rope.” Lauren Castillo’s sweet ink and watercolor drawings; Amy Hest’s brief, lyrical prose; and the satisfying up, up, up, and down, down, down of the story make for a perfect tale for a roomful of toddler- and preschool-aged readers. (Ages 2 – 6)


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