Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Prasadam-Halls, illustrated by David Litchfield

 

Rain Before Rainbows 

by Smriti Prasadam-Halls, illustrated by David Litchfield

Review Copy from Candlewick Press

In Rain Before Rainbows, Litchfield's illustrations tell a story while Prasadam-Halls's gentle, unforced rhyme provides a lyrical rhythm that carries and comforts, encourages and affirms. Litchfield's illustrations have a luminous, moody depth. Swirling, moving colors make up the background, layered with silhouettes and etched patterns. The main characters, a girl and a fox, along with a handful of other animals that appear along the way, are given a more solid presence on the page, coming together to create a dreamlike feeling. Reading Rain Before Rainbows evokes the feeling of walking through a raincloud and emerging into a light filled rainbow. 

Which is exactly how Rain Before Rainbows  begins and ends, from endpaper to endpaper. The title page shows, amidst clouds and smoke, a castle on fire. The girl and the fox journey away from one home and to a new one, making friends, being supported and creating new life (in the form of planting seeds that grow) along the way. A picture book with a message of hope and perseverance, especially one that rhymes, could easily fall into trite and tired territory, but Prasadam-Halls sidesteps this, writing a poem that asks to be printed and carried around in a pocket. 

Rain Before Rainbows is a comforting book, perfect for bedtime, sad times and happy times - all best read snuggled next to a loved one.

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