Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Review - Rain Boy

Rain Boy

by Dylan Glynn
Date: 2020
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

A heartfelt picture book about differences, acceptance, and loving yourself for who you are.

Wherever he goes, Rain Boy brings wet—which means he's not very popular. Sun Kidd brings sunshine everywhere she goes, so everyone loves her. Only Sun Kidd sees what's special about Rain Boy. But when she invites him to her birthday party, disaster strikes, and Rain Boy storms. Now the world is nothing but rain. Will the other kids ever love Rain Boy for being himself? And. more importantly, can Rain Boy learn to love his rain? Debut author and illustrator Dylan Glynn's colorful and evocative illustrations color this story with all the emotions of the rainbow in this universal story of reaching out to those who look different from you, making new friends, and learning to love yourself.

• Important lessons on acceptance, bullying, self-reliance and empathy told in a beautifully illustrated, accessible story
• A great read-aloud book for families of children struggling to fit in and find their self-confidence
• Perfect book for educators, caregivers, and librarians to help with lessons on bullying, kindness, LGBQT themes, and friendship

Fans of One, The Big Umbrella, and Be Kind will find Rain Boy's striking artwork and positive message an important addition to their bookshelf.

• Read-aloud books for kids age 3–5
• #ownvoices
• Kindness books for kids

(synopsis from Goodreads)

LGBQT themes? Um... excuse me? How does a book about an anthropomorphized cloud have LGBQT themes?

This is bizarre. I think it's supposed to be about bullying, but it's just strange. Rain Boy is an actual cloud. He rains on everything and the kids don't like him. Sun Kidd is a little black girl who glows (or something) and everybody likes her. So Rain Boy gets pissed off and causes it to rain for months, until everybody comes to like the rain. Then he peeks outside (it's not explained how he made it rain while he was inside) and sees people having fun. The book ends with "So the next time you're feeling down and your world is dark and gray... just look up." Because tilting your head back solves all your problems? I don't even know.

Rain Boy ruined the birthday party. He ruined the presents. He melted the cake. He soaked the basement. Sure, the other kids could've been kinder, but getting mad at Rain Boy for doing those things isn't the same thing as bullying. The word "bullying" becomes more and more meaningless when it's used like this. Rain Boy wasn't bullied. He was simply unpopular... and understandably so. If a kid gets invited to a birthday party and then throws all the presents in the pool and pees in the punch, it's not "bullying" when the other kids get angry. It's justified annoyance, and they shouldn't have to be friends with a kid like that if they don't want to.

I just don't get the characters, either. Rain Boy is a floating raincloud. Sun Kidd is a human child. Why isn't she just the sun? What a weird choice.

The writing isn't technically too bad, but the message is weak. And the illustrations are really not my thing. They're so scribbly and frenetic, and most of the characters look either deranged or angry. The pictures aren't appealing to look at.

Overall, I'd skip this one. There are better books out there about friendship and bullying.

Premise: 1/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 1/5
Originality: 1/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 1.33 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment