Rain Before Rainbows
Walker Books, 2020
32pp., hbk., RRP $A27.99
Rain before rainbows. Clouds before sun. Night before daybreak. A new day’s begun…
With pictures as stunning as its title and as gentle as its message, this is a beautiful book that encourages children to hang in there, that whatever they are facing right now will pass and there will be a brighter time coming. The text is quite simple on the surface as the girl and her friendly fox climb mountains, face dragons and endure dark days as they strive towards their dreams. Along the way they discover that there are friends to help, alternative paths to follow and ropes to hold on to as they seek the treasure of a new day. While younger readers can follow along seeing the journey in a literal way, it is the metaphorical message that will resonate with the older reader who is able to operate at a more abstract level.
This is a story about trust, resilience, optimism and hope that will empower young readers to have the courage to keep moving forward, to follow their dreams, to see obstacles as opportunities and to be willing to be open to new things and be proactive. That, for all the storm might be noisy and scary, there is nevertheless beauty in it and the calm on the other side is savoured even more deeply because of the contrast.
These themes of courage, resilience and hope are featuring in many recent books for our young readers but given the calamity that has been 2020, it could be argued that the more we have access to the better, because at least one of them has to resonate and reach out to a child in need. And if it does, then the work of the author, illustrator and the adult who placed it in their world, is done.