Home in the Rain

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Bob Graham,  Home in the Rain,  Walker Books Australia,  1 Oct 2016,  32pp.,  $24.99 (hbk),  ISBN: 9781406368239

Home in the Rain is a beautiful tale by Bob Graham, a six time CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award winner. This is the second book of his I have read with my daughter this year. Like when we read A Bus Called Heaven, we knew by the second page we were reading something special.

It’s a long trip home for Francie and her mother; the journey even more arduous in the torrential rain. At a picnic rest spot on the side of the highway Francie, Mum and Baby Sister wait the weather out, oblivious to the happenings around them. While they pass the time inside, we see life continue outside. Graham captures these simple moments and, with few words, evokes powerful memories in older readers.

His phrasing is undemanding and beautiful, and invites discussion with younger readers about names and meanings. As a family, we loved this book. It takes an ordinary situation – waiting for bad weather to pass – and shows moments of tenderness, joy and inspiration.

Children will enjoy the story of Francie and her family, as well as exploring the events and intricacy of the watercolour illustrations. Francie’s journey home, coupled with the outside world’s everyday events, gently build towards one giant moment. A simple moment that passes unnoticed by anyone other than Francie and her mother. A moment that changes everything for this little family.

There is much love and joy conveyed through this story and I couldn’t help hugging my little ones a bit tighter after reading it.

Classroom ideas can be found at Walker Books’ website.

Reviewed by Fiona Miller-Stevens

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