Monday, December 14, 2015

Starred review from PW

Puddle

Hyewon Yum. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-31695-2

It’s raining, it’s pouring, it’s boring. “There’s nothing to do. Nothing!” gripes Yum’s unnamed hero. The boy sprawls on a chair as if he’s being martyred by precipitation, and he refuses even to consider coloring to pass the time. But when his mother picks up his crayons and pencils and draws the boy’s blue umbrella, he’s intrigued. “Can you draw me holding it?” he asks her, then urges her to draw a story about a family walk in the rain. The picture quickly becomes a collaboration, with the boy adding streaks of blue crayon for rain (“I’m really good at this”) and a gloriously smudgy puddle for splashing. Soon he realizes that an actual rainy day walk—culminating with real puddle-splashing—is exactly what he needs. “It’s just a picture,” mother and son tell one another at various points, but Yum’s (This Is Our House) renderings—done in a rough, childlike style that fits the story to a T—and all-dialogue text prove that there’s powerful magic in every act of representation, no matter how novice the artist. Ages 4–7. Agent: Sean McCarthy, Sean McCarthy Literary Agency.