Friday, November 15, 2019

Review - The Rain Stomper

The Rain Stomper
by Addie Boswell
illustrated by Eric Velasquez
Date: 2008
Publisher: Two Lions
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book

Today is the day of the big neighborhood parade. Baton twirler Jazmin is ready to lead the way for the dogs and kids, music and fun. But then the clouds crowd in. The sky darkens. Thunder roars. And the rain begins. SLAP clatter clatter SLAP SLAP! Is Jazmin’s parade ruined? Or can she use her spirit, her fearless energy, and her mighty baton to save the day? Award-winning illustrator Eric Velasquez’s artwork in oil paint on watercolor paper is a perfect complement to debut author Addie Boswell’s lyrical, rhythmic words.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

The Rain Stomper starts with a decent premise, but eventually veers off into a picture book that teaches children how to make themselves a candidate for a Darwin Award.

Jazmin wakes up, excited for the neighbourhood parade. But then it starts to rain. She watches for a while, then goes out with her baton and plays--stomping, splashing, and shouting--until the sun comes out.

The problem I have with this is that it's clearly stated that there is thunder. Where there is thunder, there's lightning. And yet, Jazmin is shown going outside with her metal baton and actually pointing it at the sky. This book should've been called How to Be a Lightning Rod.

Some of the illustrations are nice, but others look weirdly stretched. There's also a strange mismatch between the words and the pictures near the beginning, when the book states, "Wind whistled through her hair." Jazmin has her hair wound into two tight braids throughout the book, so this doesn't make a lot of sense. (I suspect that perhaps Jazmin wasn't originally intended to be black. In any case, there was obviously a breakdown in communication between the author and illustrator here.)

I expected more from this. Maybe if the pictures hadn't been distorted, I would've liked it a little better. Then again, I can't recommend a book that shows children it's okay to go out into thunderstorms holding metal sticks in the air. That's just wrong.

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

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

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