Book Review: Rain by Sam Usher

What better day to share a book about rain than on this rainy Spring day? If it’s not raining where you are, you will surely feel like you’ve experienced a rainy day after reading this book (in the most magical way) 🙂

rain

Rain (2017, Templar Books/Candlewick Press, Picture Book)

From the Publisher

Sam and Granddad brave the rain and floods and have the best adventure ever!

Sam wants to go out, but it’s pouring rain, so Granddad says they need to stay inside until the rain stops. Sam drinks hot chocolate and reads his books and dreams of adventures while Granddad does some paperwork. When Granddad needs to mail his letter, it’s time to go out—despite the rain and floods—and Sam and Granddad have a magical adventure. The follow-up to the acclaimed Snow, this is the second title in a four-book series based on the weather from creator Sam Usher.

Review

Rain, written and illustrated by Sam Usher, is part of a picture book series based on weather elements. Having not read the other book, Snow, I can only imagine it is as charming as this book. The first thing that will catch the reader’s attention is the cover of this book. The design is beautiful and has been created with a three-dimensional element so that it appears to have raindrops on the cover. The illustrations throughout are absolutely lovely and bursting with emotion as Sam watches the rain and waits for his Granddad to finish his small tasks around the house.

The most surprising twist comes right at the beginning, when Sam is so excited to play outside in the rain. Many books often look at rain as something that ruins a child’s day, so it was refreshing and inspiring to see a book celebrating a rainy day and all the fun a child can have. In the age of electronics and indoor entertainment, letting a child play outside even if it means getting a bit wet is a wonderful concept.

Sam and his Granddad’s adventures in the rain are fun and imaginative and way over the top, but it is a picture book after all, so such craziness is allowed. I might have hoped for a bit more realistic adventures in the rain, but the illustrations made up for any fleeting disappointment I felt at the abrupt change in setting.

The change in mood and tempo from a dreary day spent indoors to an exuberant day in the wet weather was certainly refreshing.

Overall, a beautifully illustrated, adventurous text sure to have every child wanting to go out on a rainy day adventure. Highly recommended for children ages 3 and up.

5 stars to shine through rainy days and nights

Rain hits shelves March 28, 2017

You can pre-order Rain at Amazon


Thank you to Candlewick Press for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Life Lessons From Bear Country

I read this Berenstain Bears book collection recently and it got me thinking.

Children’s books are full of lessons on kindness, caring, politeness, respect, and so many more fantastic concepts related to growing into a functioning and considerate adult. Society wants our children to respect their elders, care about others, not say mean things, help out in the community, and ultimately not be a bully.

Life Lessons: Not just for kids

But that Bear family in Bear country made me think not just about kids needing life lessons, it made me think about adults too.

Have we forgotten that showing compassion to others, being kind, saying nice things, and not being a bully, aren’t just lessons for kids?

Do as I say, not as I do.

I’m not perfect. People aren’t perfect. Adults, parents, grandparents, kids, dogs….ok dogs are pretty perfect.

Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone says things they don’t mean or didn’t mean to say or sometimes the words just come out wrong.

What saddens me, is the amount of hate, bullying, and complete disregard for others’ feelings that takes place on social media. People comment without thinking or considering that there is a real life person with feelings on the other side of that computer. The internet allows everyone to voice an opinion in whatever manner they choose.

Social media can be a wonderful thing when it is used as a means of connecting with others and lifting people up, but it is so often used to divide people into groups of like-mindedness and tear others down.

So today my book review is about the Berenstain Bears Caring and Sharing Treasury.

Five books in one! Can’t beat that.

But this is not just a collection of books for kids, it’s a reminder that bragging is still annoying, gossiping is unattractive, generosity is always in style, there is no one career or life path that determines success, and the world needs more unconditional love.

bears caring and sharing

The Berenstain Bears Caring is Sharing Treasury (2016, Zonderkidz, Picture Book)

This treasury of Berenstain Bears books contains five books on the theme of kindness. Brother and Sister Bear learn about jobs, helping others, being good neighbors, gossiping, and bragging as they explore Bear Country. There is a lot going on in Bear Country, and Brother and Sister get into trouble along the way, but with the help of each other, their family and friends can set things right?

The Caring is Sharing Treasury written and illustrated by Stan, Jan and Mike Berenstain, consists of five books in one volume. The books included are: Jobs Around Town, Get Involved, Love Their Neighbors, Gossip Gang, and The Biggest Brag. This is an impressive collection of Berenstain Bears tales, reminiscent of the original stories. Children will love these fun stories, and parents will love the heart-warming messages. Great stories to get children thinking about their actions and interactions with others.

Five stars

Thank you to Zonderkidz and BookLook Bloggers for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Contest Time!

Hello readers of UNDER THE BIG TOP TALES AND TWISTERS,

As you may have seen in this week’s paper, a new writing contest has started!

This contest is only open to residents in the Cabool, Missouri area/subscribers to The Cabool Enterprise. The contest will also be open to subscribers of any other newspaper my column appears in, but for the moment in only appears in The Cabool Enterprise.

Below you will find the complete rules and information to enter the contest as was printed in the paper.

The contest is free to enter but remember the deadline for entries is April 15th by 5:00pm 

Please read the rules carefully and email me or comment below if you have any questions.

I look forward to many wonderful, creative, exciting, hilarious, sweet, sad, heart-warming, frightening, fantastical, works of prose from children of all ages.

Good luck and Happy Writing!

Contest Rules and Submission Process

Write a response to the following prompt.

If I had three wishes…

To Enter: This contest is open to children in the following age categories:

  • Under 8 years old
  • 9-12 years old
  • 13-18 years old

Please include the following information with your entry:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Hometown
  • Phone Number/Email Address.

Submit Entries: Attach entry in Word or PDF format, or type into the body of the email, and email to threeshowsaturday@gmail.com

Please put “Contest Entry” in subject line. Entries may also be submitted in person at The Cabool Enterprise or Missouri Gun Co LLC, both located in Cabool, Mo.

Rules: Entries must be previously unpublished. Entries must be 500 words or less and must be the original work of the submitter. Entrants must fall within one of the age categories to be eligible to enter. Entries must be received on or before the deadline. By entering, you agree to allow your work to be published in the newspaper and online.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three places in each age category. First place stories will be published in the newspaper, all other winning stories will appear online.

Writing contest and prizes proudly sponsored by these local businesses:

Missouri Gun Co. LLC of Cabool, Missouri

The Cabool Enterprise of Cabool, Missouri

A team of three judges will determine the winners in each category.