Rain Boy by Dylan Glynn
by Dylan Glynn
Review Copy from Chronicle Books
I love the chaos, emotion and intensity of Glynn's illustrations for Rain Boy and cannot stop poring (no pun intended) over this, his debut, picture book. While there are a few moments that get a little aphorism-y, like the tag line under the title, "The brightest colors shine from within," (and I suspect this came at the urging of an editor and/or publicist) the overall and lasting effect of this book will leave readers thinking and talking.
When Rain Boy is around, of course, it rains. Because of this, he is not too popular with the other kids. Newbie, Sun Kidd, "is from somewhere on the other side of the planet" and she is definitely more popular. And kind, inviting everyone in class to her sleepover-surprise-birthday party, including Rain Boy. Rain Boy had never been to a birthday party before, but when he heads into the party and instantly makes a puddle, his classmates go crazy, shouting, "Rain, Rain, Go Away!" Sadly, Rain Boy leaves, but not before Sun Kidd tells everyone to stop yelling at him. Ashamed of her friends, Sun Kidd goes to her room and refuses to come out. A storm begins to brew and Rain Boy makes the world a wet, cold grey place for a very long time. People stay indoors and learn to live with the wetness. They drink hot cocoa and start talking to each other more. And then they learn to go outside and appreciate the "wet wonderland," noticing how "beautiful reflections shimmered and stretched across streets." One day, Rain Boy storms a little less hard and Sun Kidd notices, excitedly calling for him to look out his window. Together, they see people enjoying the rain, and together, they make a rainbow.
Rain Boy touches on bullying, friendship, integrity, and community through enthralling illustrations bursting with energy and emotion.