The color palette Leonard Weisgard uses for this book is just right for the rainy weather the story describes. I like the way even the reds and yellows are muted to reflect the cloudy, drab atmosphere. I also love the way he draws raindrops on the edges of some of the pages to keep reminding the reader that rain is still falling, but that he doesn’t clutter up every page with those little raindrop lines. I also love the illusion of movement created by the positions of the boats near the city docks. I enjoy all of Alvin Tresselt’s books about weather, but this one might be my favorite.
Snow by Uri Shulevitz. Published 1998. Caldecott Honor 1999. Macmillan. ISBN: 9780374370923
This book is kind of surreal in the sense that Mother Goose characters come to life for no apparent reason and play in the snow with a young boy. I like the fact that Shulevitz’s illustrations poke fun at the fact that adults tend to ignore the magic of snow, while children wish for it and get very excited. I’m not sure I understand the connection between the illustrations and the text, but the story does evoke that sense of awe kids have when they see snow.
Fly High, Fly Low by Don Freeman. Published 1957. Caldecott Honor 1958. Puffin. ISBN: 9780142408179
I didn’t even know of this book until I realized it was on the Caldecott list and that my library owns a copy. I love the bright colors and the pencil shading Freeman uses in the illustrations and the interesting story about birds and their home in a sign was interesting and is just the kind of thing that appeals to kids. I love the image of the Golden Gate Bridge on pages 32 and 33, as well as the blurred images meant to suggest fog. A great city story.