Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rain – the good, the bad, and the imaginative

I’m a little tentative about declaring that spring is finally here in Calgary.  We’ve had too many tantalizing false starts, but it’s been almost two weeks without snow and I’ve decided to hope for the best.'

So with spring in the air… Downpour by Emily Martin is a perfect accompaniment for the season.

It’s a gentle, poetic and imaginative reverie about a rainy day that so saturates everything, that the colour from red poppies begins to run, colouring various plants, animals and other things that it contacts.   From its own leaves and roots to the ground underfoot, to the beaks of nearby birds, to fields, fences and puddles, to a happy old man’s beard, all things have the potential to turn red.  A cute and curious hedgehog keeps us company throughout this contemplation of spring and the colour red. 

The grey tones of everything else illustrated really make the red pop.  The line drawings are well suited to the poetic nature of the book, contributing to the ‘flowy’ feel of a very grey, wet, rainy day. 

And what about the now white poppies? Well our little hedgehog tries to give them back some of their missing colour.  The author includes a couple of personal musings on the credits/copyright page on the last page that I think are very interesting.

                Poetry lurks, especially in the rain.
                Red used to be my least favorite color.
                Only fools don’t change their minds.

                Disaster is inevitable.  Watch it unfold, find beauty.


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