When I saw today’s Perfect Picture Book, I thought back to the many other wonderful books by Lois Ehlert that were family favorites when the now-adult children were young. That memory led to other memories. In particular, I found myself thinking about a holiday when I was the sole adult for part of the vacation. I had “volunteered” to travel ahead with the four and six year-old daughters to central Europe, where my husband met us (in case you’re wondering about my sanity, we visited, and stayed with, family friends much of the time). I recall spending several days in some of the greatest cities of Europe searching for playgrounds, cooling fingers and toes in fountains and doing anything but the typical “tourist” things, such as gazing up at unique architecture and visiting museums. Instead, we looked down, spent most of the time outdoors, and discovered treasures that I’m sure all but the most observant adults missed. They remain treasures to this day.
Title: Rain Fish
Written & Illustrated By: Lois Ehlert
Publisher/date: Beach Lane Books, 2016
Suitable for Ages: 4-7
Themes/Topics: creating art, found art, rainy days, recycling, fish
Opening: “When blue sky turns gray and it rains all day, that’s when rain fish come out and play.”
Brief Synopsis: Rain fish come out to play on rainy days.
Links to Resources:
- Take a “themed” nature walk and talk about the items of a particular shape, color or texture you see
- While on a walk or even in the house, try to find objects that look like something else, like rabbit clouds, or a face hidden in the bark of a tree, etc.
- Create collage art – assemblages of different materials; for some ideas see The Artful Parent. http://artfulparent.com/collage-art-ideas-kids
Why I Like this Book: In our too busy world, we often miss what’s hiding right under our noses. We fail to notice the good, like Lois Ehlert’s colourful fish that accompany the bad, in this case a rainy day. And not only is it a rainy day, but the fish, crafted from found items that most adults would term “garbage”, swim in the gutters. This is a “stop and smell the roses” book if ever there was one and a terrific reminder that one person’s garbage can be recycled into another person’s art – if only we can observe like the child that lives in each of us. Like Lois Ehlert’s many other wonderful picture books, this will be a book that children and adults will enjoy exploring again and again.
This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!