The Storm

the storm.jpg
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Genre(s)
Age Range
4+
Release Date
April 01, 2016
ISBN
9781771385596
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As this evocative picture book begins, a little boy is excited about a trip to the beach with his parents planned for the following day. But a bad storm is coming, and he has started to worry they won't be able to go. He watches as the sky grows darker through the afternoon. His mother and father close the shutters and bring the potted plants indoors. Then the storm arrives. All through dinner, the rain beats hard against the shutters. The wind howls and blows, the boy says, I try not to be scared. At bedtime, he thinks, I wish I had a ship with big propellers that would spin stronger winds to drive the storm away. While asleep, his wish becomes his dream, and he manages to blow away the dark clouds with his imaginary vessel. Then, to his delight, when he awakens, he finds his dream of clear blue skies has come true.

Author and illustrator Akiko Miyakoshi uses spare text and black-and-white drawings to echo the tension and uncertainty a child feels when encountering severe weather. The boy knows he is safe, yet danger is near. When he faces his fear in his dream, he becomes empowered by having conquered it. This is a perfect book for a quiet storytime on a rainy day. It would also work for launching conversations about fears, particularly those that are nature related, or as the impetus for children's own imaginary stories of how they could be courageous and save the day.

Editor review

1 review
Of Taming Storms
(Updated: June 15, 2017)
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
To be honest, I paid very little attention to the text the first time I read The Storm—I was transfixed by the absolutely gorgeous charcoal sketches that are the life and soul of this book. It’s the illustrations that take this spare and simple story to a completely new level of reading experience.
A little boy is bitterly disappointed when a storm threatens to disrupt his big plans for the next day—a beach trip he’d been looking forward to all week. And the only time he’s able to confront his tension is when he gets into bed, pulls the blanket over his head and starts dreaming of his victory over the storm.
What I liked:
The style of the illustrations is unusual and very different from what you find in your regular picture books. The use of colour is minimal but packs a solid punch when it does appear.
The subject—I’m always interested in the various creative ways in which picture books address childhood fears and apprehensions, and this one does a commendable job.
What didn’t work for me:
I really wish the text wasn’t quite so spare. I think the art may have just overshadowed it a bit, because in some places it almost felt like the words existed as just captions for the pictures, instead of heightening the reading experience. I also felt that the conflict resolution happened a little too quickly and easily, and that there should’ve been more in terms of storytelling.
Final verdict:
Pick it up for the art and the simple, direct message.


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