The Picture Book Buzz

Soaked! - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF and Giveaway

Rainy Days - boy sometimes you just want to hide inside with a book and a cup of (insert hot beverage of your choice). But if you've been struggling through in a heat wave, say in southern California, maybe you'd rather just walk and cool off. Or maybe you're on vacation in Hawaii. Since the rain and the ocean are both about 80 degrees and you're going to get wet anyway, might as well swim & hunt for shells in the rain (as long as there's no thunder or lightening).

Reading this week's wonderful #PPBF choice reminded me of one particularly wonderful rainy day. Our last finals had just ended and my best friend and I were stretched to our limits from stress, late nights, and maybe too much coffee (though now, I'm not sure you could honestly call that stuff coffee).

So, we dashed outside and sought out EVERY possible puddle on and around campus. Giggling and hollering "Singing in the Rain" at the top of our lungs, we jumped, splashed, stomped, kicked, and sloshed our way all around campus. By the time we got back to our rooms, everyone thought we resembled drowned rats. But we were happy, relaxed, and still giggling.

This week's wonderful book is a humorous adventure of four friends - Bear, Rabbit, Badger, and Moose - trying to make the most of being caught in a rainstorm.

Soaked!

Author/Illustrator: Abi Cushman

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group (2020)

Ages: 3-7

Fiction

Themes:

Animals, humor, flexibility, and rainy days.

Synopsis:

A Hula-Hooping moose, a badger with a bumblebee umbrella, a rabbit in a cashmere sweater, and a very wet bear star in this unpredictable and laugh-out-loud picture book in which having fun gets the best of a grumpy bear. It looks like a wet and dreary day for Bear and his trio of friends. How could he possibly have fun when he is soaked? But Badger, Rabbit, and Moose don't seem to mind. In fact, Moose can still hula hoop! And it looks like so much fun. Might Bear like to try? Here is a story that shows that fun is not dependent on sunshine and blue skies. In fact, it might be more fun to be soaked!

Opening Lines:

Look at all this rain.

Everything is dreary.

Everything is drenched.

And no one is happy.

Not that badger. Not that bunny.

Not that Hula-Hooping moose.

And especially . . .

What I LOVED about this book:

Who hasn't grumbled about the rain? Disgruntled, Bear complains because "the rain ruins everything" -

© Abi Cushman, 2020.

and he slouches off to his cave. Even though his friends badger, rabbit, and moose appear less bothered by the rain, they follow along. The next spread, with that outrageous hula-hooping moose, is one of my favorites! Abi did such an amazing job with everyone's expressions and moose's impressive talent with three glow-in the dark hula-hoops!

© Abi Cushman, 2020.

Returning outside to brave the rain, Bear grumbles about missing his umbrella and heads to his log to wallow. He reminds me so much of Eeyore. Abi actually leaves it up to the reader to determine whether Badger took the umbrella or has one of her own just like Bear's, based upon her expression and perhaps evidence of the bear-head handle.

When Moose's hula-hoop gets stuck in a tree, a precarious rescue dumps everyone into a puddle. Abi's soft-toned illustrations are delightfully realistic. I love how I can almost hear the rain drops splattering in the puddles. Although they're silent, Moose, Bunny, and Badger's personalities radiate off the pages.

© Abi Cushman, 2020.

In addition to a new twist on making the best from what you have, this book also touches on learning to admit when you're wrong, the need for flexibility, and the idea that you just can't please some people. Overall, it is a wonderfully humorous book encouraging discussions on emotions, expectations, and individual perspectives. A great book for story time, with or without the rain.

Resources:

- try out some (or all) of the activities Abi Cushman has created in this Soaked! kit (https://app.box.com/s/dnezgcx2ddae7yieqw55810lnqaoyueg).

- write a story or draw a picture of the funniest thing you could do (or have done) in the rain.

- participate in some animal races ~ hop like a bunny, do a bear crawl, or walk on four long "legs" (hands and feet flat on the ground).

- draw an image of your own special umbrella.

If you missed it, check out Abi Cushman's interview on Monday (here).

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

One lucky, randomly selected reader will win a copy of Soaked!

- Simply comment below or on Abi's Monday Interview post (or both), to be entered in the random drawing for a copy of Soaked!.

- Also, if you shared the post, be sure to say where you shared it, so I can add the right number of entries.

- Sorry, US Residents only.

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