ZOE'S RAINY DAY
Reviewed by Kay Kerman
Reviewed by Kay Kerman
Volume 20 Number 2
Well, she's done it again! Barbara Reid has produced a series of excellent and innovative plasticine books. These four wordless board books follow a young girl and her family through a series of adventures on windy, snowy, rainy and sunny days. As usual, Barbara Reid fills in details that would be familiar to all children. 1 will describe one book in detail and the others more briefly, as the format is similar across the series. In her four-colour plasticine illustrated books, Barbara Reid is describing the events that happen on an outing with any child during one of the particular weather days.
In Zoe's Sunny Day Zoe goes to the park with her mom and accidentally falls on the sidewalk in her eagerness to get to the play area. The next scene shows Zoe's tears being wiped away while sitting atop her mom's knee on the grass. Throughout the rest of the book we will note the red sore on Zoe's knee. But there is much else going on in this picture. Children are sliding, swinging, drinking at the fountain, kicking a soccer ball, and of course there are other parents around to share in all the fun. In the following scene, we see Zoe eating her sandwich and standing intently over top of an anthill. In the background we see the squirrels rummaging around the garbage pail. Her picnic lunch rests on a blanket behind her and we see a little ant snatching up a crumb from it. Finally we see a very familiar site, that of children in a wading pool. Zoe is splashing about with her big beach ball while her mother lies on the blanket and watches her from the background. Looking on are some other people sitting on the bench and another child who is drying off with a towel. After such a busy outing it is time to go home. Zoe is fast asleep in her carriage, with her toy monkey (who appears in all four books) on her chest. Mom is bringing her home as the sun is setting and the neighbour is watering her lawn.
Each of Reid's books portrays Zoe's outing with her family. In Zoe's Rainy Day Zoe gets into her raincoat and boots and goes out walking with her mom to the park, where she plays with the other children. Upon returning home, we see Zoe enjoying a bath, cleaning off the mud from the park. In Zoe's Snowy Day Zoe goes toboganning with her dad at the park. They pass by the ice rink and watch the older children playing hockey and then they return home, where we see Zoe asleep in bed. Zoe's Windy Day clearly gives the reader the feeling of fall. People are raking leaves that are blowing all around. Zoe's father stops and buys some food from a vendor in the park and then Zoe plays on the swings. After they walk home, they have a warm cup of hot chocolate! All children will love pointing out the familiar and similar experiences that they have had on days such as these.
Reid's illustrations provide amazing detail in lushly coloured scenes that appear to be three dimensional. Parents and children will enjoy hours of visual delight with Zoe, who just happens to be Barbara Reid's daughter!
Other books that Barbara Reid has illustrated are Have You Seen Birds, The New Baby Calf, Sing a Song of Mother Goose (Scholastic, 1988), and Jenny Green teeth.
Reid has won numerous awards (or her illustrations. I highly recommend these books — especially for pre-school children.
Kay Kerman, Chelsea Public School, Chelsea, Que.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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