Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Review - Look, It's Raining

Look, It's Raining
by Mathieu Pierloot
illustrated by Maria Dek
Date: 2019
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 22
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

It's Sunday, and Camille, having finished her school work, is feeling a little bored. Her parents are busy with their own projects, so she puts on her raincoat and goes outside to play. Suddenly she hears the thunder roar, and shivers with excitement. She sticks out her tongue to catch raindrops. They taste like clouds. She notices a group of red ants zigzagging along a trail and asks "Where are you going?" The ants reply, "We're going to a show." Camille embarks on an adventure to discover what the show is about and the astounding beauty to be found by closely observing her surroundings.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

While I like the overall premise showing that there are lots of things to see outside, I do not like the execution of this book. The illustrations are creepy, and the child is shown engaging in dangerous activities.

Camille is bored and her parents are doing their own thing. Rather than asking if she can go outside, she puts on her raincoat and goes out through the window! It's raining outside. Not only that, but Camille can hear thunder. So what does she do in the rest of the book? She plays around outside and climbs trees. Yes, the child is shown climbing a tree when there's lightning in the vicinity. Not to worry, though, because the storm passes ridiculously quickly for plot purposes (and so that Camille can watch a butterfly fly into the "bright blue sky").

I do not like the illustrations here. The bug-eyed people are disturbing. And so is what happens outside. First, Camille meets some sentient ants. You can see one has gotten into her raincoat pocket. I shudder just looking at that; during a sports day when I was a kid, I somehow got ants all over me from crawling around in the grass. It took hours to get them all off. But wait! It gets worse. Next, Camille meets a "spider" (it has six legs and six eyes; I can forgive a bit of artistic license, but not for something that simple). A few pages later, we see that now the "spider" is in her pocket! Nope. I don't care if six-legs there can talk or not; it's still a spider. (This is the point where she's climbing the tree, defying gravity as she's doing it. I'm really not a fan of the illustrations here.) After seeing a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis, Camille runs home to make a nuisance of herself by disturbing her parents and trying to drag them outside. Her father's just spent all morning doing her laundry, and he isn't allowed to even relax with a book and a cup of tea!

The book ends with the thought, "Outside, there's always a show to see." I can't disagree with that. But I do think that message could've been delivered without showing a girl getting covered in bugs (*shudder*) or climbing trees during a lightning storm.

Thank you to NetGalley and Princeton Architectural Press for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 1.83 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment