The Rain Came Down
Caldecott Honor artist David Shannon captures the chaos that follows an unexpected downpour in this engaging story. Raindrops set off a chain reaction of temper tantrums, but a sudden break in the clouds makes the bad moods melt. A series of isolated vignettes begins with a noisy, muddy dog that aggravates its owner, so "the man yelled at the dog and woke up the baby.... The dog barked louder. And still, the rain came down." Outside, a taxi driver beeps at a stopped truck, and in the next frame, the truck driver argues back. One by one, shop owners collide with pedestrians as tension accumulates, all to the refrain, "And still, the rain came down." After this series of intense close-ups, Shannon (No, David!) gives a bird's-eye view of the whole scene: small-town storefronts, bumper-to-bumper traffic and irritable people. But in the next spread, he swings down to street level and captures the moment that "the rain stopped! And so did the noise." The sunshine changes everything, and a second sequence of highly detailed paintings revisits each of the now-cooperative characters. Shannon expertly uses vertiginous angles as he builds suspense, then calms things down with a set of subdued portraits and a view of a quiet afternoon picnic..