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.
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.
Pick it up for the art and the simple, direct message.