Kathryn Apel (text) and Janet Turner (illustrations), Up and Down on a Rainy Day, State Library Queensland, December 2020, 32pp., RRP $24.95 (hbk), ISBN 9781922467003
Up and Down on a Rainy Day by Kathryn Apel and Janet Turner is one of the lovely new picture books produced by the State Library of Queensland as part of its First 5 Forever early literacy program. In this book, the activities of a Queensland farm family on a rainy day are cleverly conveyed through the use of two-word action idioms containing either the word “up” or “down”. The family’s day starts with sun up, rain down and progresses to various outdoor romps and games, until finally ending with snuggle down and moon up. I was amazed to realise how many common idioms with “up” and “down” there are.
The digitally produced illustrations are bold and colourful, with each demonstrating the meaning of its matching idiom. The cute, simplistic style of the illustrations, with the big eyed, animated faces of the characters, portray sheer joy in the muddiness and wetness of the rain. It is quite clear to the reader that a rainy day is a most welcome and celebrated event for this farming family. Queensland farm kids – post drought – would relate to this.
Having just two words per page and the words “up” and “down” repeated throughout, makes this an excellent text for building independent reading confidence. It could also be good for engaging active toddlers by getting them to act out the actions.
Reviewed by Barbara Swartz