Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Review - Stormy

by Guojing
Date: 2019
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

From the creator of the New York Times best-illustrated children's book award winner The Only Child, comes a gorgeous and moving wordless picture book that's perfect for dog lovers.

In this heartwarming, wordless picture book that's perfect for dog lovers, a woman visits a park and discovers a pup hiding under a bench--scruffy, scared, and alone. With gentle coaxing, the woman tries to befriend the animal, but the dog is too scared to let her near. Day after day, the woman tries--and day after day, the dog runs away. With perseverance and patience--and help from an enticing tennis ball--a tentative friendship begins. But it's not until a raging storm forces the two together that a joyous and satisfying friendship takes hold. Guojing poignantly explores how trust doesn't always come easily, but how, over time, and with kindness and determination, forever love can grow.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Stormy should warm even the coldest heart. Dog lovers are going to be hit particularly hard by this one, though. It's hard not to love this sweet story about a lonely little dog and a girl who has a lot of love to give.

Like The Only Child (which I read earlier this year), Stormy is told entirely without words. Guojing's illustrations are such that no words are necessary. The story unfolds at a natural pace, and the illustrated panels show the hesitant development of a relationship. The little dog is skittish and won't let anyone come near. But the girl is persistent. She brings a ball to the park and tries to engage the dog in a game of fetch. It doesn't exactly work, and the girl has to leave yet again. One night, the dog follows her home and gets caught in a storm. She doesn't realize this, and goes looking for it at the park. Will their paths cross? (I'm sure you can guess the answer, based on the book's subtitle. Still, watching the two grow closer is delightful to watch.)

The pictures are breathtaking. The little dog is charming, and Guojing has perfectly captured its emotions in the soft-looking illustrations. Unlike the pictures in The Only Child, these ones are in full colour. I had a hard time choosing which one I wanted to include in my review; there are so many beautiful ones that highlight this relationship of patience, perseverance, and love.

It's amazing how so much emotion and story can be conveyed without any words at all. I can't wait to see what Guojing does next.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: n/a
Illustrations: 5/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall Rating: 4.6 out of 5 ladybugs

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