"On Saturday morning, the rain came down. It made the chickens squawk." But that's only the beginning. Before the sun comes out again, an entire neighborhood is in a crabby uproar. The owner of the beauty parlor squabbles with the barber, who argues with the painter, who has just accidentally bonked the barber in the head with his paint can. Then the baker unintentionally pokes the pizza man in the nose with his umbrella, and they
start quarreling. Soon, "the whole block was honking, yelling, bickering, and barking." There's no end in sight... until the rain stops, the sun comes out, the air smells fresh and sweet, and a rainbow appears. Before they know it, the bickerers are helping each other clean up the mess caused by the ruckus, and everyone's smiling again.
David Shannon, Caldecott Honor artist of No, David!, brings his own brand of sunshine to readers. His rollicking text and bright, witty caricatures of grumpy neighbors and animals will put a smile on every reader's face, rain or shine. Surprising angles (we see the painter's paint-spattered bottom from below as he descends his ladder) may even make gloomy readers laugh out loud! This book is perfect for brightening a dreary gray day. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
Raindrops set off a chain reaction of temper tantrums, but a sudden break in the clouds makes the bad moods melt. A series of isolated vignettes begins with a noisy, muddy dog that aggravates its owner, so "the man yelled at the dog and woke up the baby.... The dog barked louder. And still, the rain came down." Outside, a taxi driver beeps at a stopped truck, and in the next frame, the truck driver argues back. One by one, shop owners collide with pedestrians as tension accumulates, all to the refrain, "And still, the rain came down." After this series of intense close-ups, Shannon (No, David!) gives a bird's-eye view of the whole scene: small-town storefronts, bumper-to-bumper traffic and irritable people. But in the next spread, he swings down to street level and captures the moment that "the rain stopped! And so did the noise." The sunshine changes everything, and a second sequence of highly detailed paintings revisits each of the now-cooperative characters. Shannon expertly uses vertiginous angles as he builds suspense, then calms things down with a set of subdued portraits and a view of a quiet afternoon picnic. However, unlike Charlotte Zolotow's similarly conceived The Quarreling Book, which took a child's point of view, here the action is primarily among adults and may not hold readers' attention for repeated readings. Ages 3-up. (Oct.)
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