Friday, March 20, 2015

Blue on Blue by Dianne White, illustrated by Beth Krommes

I have a backlist of illustrators to choose from for my We Explore Favorite Artists programs and Beth Krommes was near the top of the newer illustrators I wanted to try. However, when I was picking people for this year's programs, I was worried that she didn't have enough of a backlist of titles, especially those I could use with toddlers and young preschoolers. However, with this new title, I need worry no longer.

White's poetic text takes the reader through a rainy day on the farm, from growing storm clouds to pouring rain, from a celebration of muddy delights to the peaceful bath and bedtime as night arrives. Simple couplets explore the sound of the rain and the storm.

Krommes' artwork is a visual feast, with so much to offer for a discussion in programming. Her distinctive scratch-art style, of course, makes scratch-art projects a must. Hidden details in the pictures; the girl and dog under the covers during the thunder, little ducks in a pond almost hiding in the gutter of the book, and details in the landscape views are perfect for a toddler audience to interact with the story. For older children, discussions of how Krommes uses her scratch-art style to create shadows and movement, light and dark in the images, will flow naturally from the story.

I had our We Explore Favorite Artist Beth Krommes session last week and this book was a big hit. It's already garnered starred reviews and I expect to see it show up on award lists at some point as well.

Verdict: Even if you're not planning a program around this book, it's a must-have to add to your titles for toddlers. Beautiful art and lovely text combine to offer a simple, reassuring story of the beauty of a summer storm. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9781442412675; Published 2014 by Beach Lane/Simon and Schuster; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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