Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.
Last week, at Reading Rocks South West, I was introduced to Bob Graham’s ‘Home in the Rain’ by the lovely people at Bookwagon. I can’t believe I missed it when it first came out and I am very grateful to them as it’s a real treasure!
Francie, mum and Baby Sister are on their way home from a visit to Grandma in their little red car. The rain is lashing down so the little family stop to eat the picnic packed by Grandma. Whilst they shelter from the storm, Francie wonders what they will call Baby Sister when she arrives. Will they decide before they get home?
This is such a tender, loving book. Bob Graham skilfully hones in on the everyday, exploring the things that concern Francie beautifully. The warmth of the relationships- between Grandma, Francie and Mum and between Mum and Francie- light each page, shown as much by the wonderful illustrations as the text. The very last picture is a complete joy, showing the love of this family perfectly. The comfort of the little red car contrasts with the beating rain, offering a safe space for Francie to explore her worries about the little sister yet to be born and the absence of her father, far out at sea.
Similarly, Francie’s joy and excitement when they decide on a new name is perfectly captured. Little details make each picture perfect for exploring time and time again, offering many stories to be told in addition to that of Francie and her mum.
It is a book radiant with joy and love; a simple tale, beautifully told which is going on my shelf of favourites!
Home in the Rain Bob Graham
Walker Books ISBN: 978-1406379785