Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With a style almost as peaceful and steadily rhythmic as the autumn shower he lauds, Laser (Children's Rules for Parents) conveys an infectious exultation in a sudden rainfall. "The rain fell on the city, the town, and the forest," he begins, and introduces various characters who are rained upon: a commuter in a green raincoat, a teacher grading homework, two children playing in the woods and an old man who "smile[s] up into the falling raindrops," reveling in the sensation. One by one, each character adopts the old man's celebratory mood, and in a surprise conclusion, all but the old man are revealed to be members of the same family. Greene's (Shadow Play) crisply lined and detailed pastels convey a sense of tranquil freshness in both the crowded city and the New England countryside. Their unpretentious realism provides a strong counterpoint to the misty topic, and the reverent calm of his rain-soaked subjects underscores Laser's message that pleasure can be found in the most ordinary occurrences. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Carolyn Ford
When I looked over Honesty is the Best Policy, my first thoughts were that, although it seemed old-fashioned and simplistic, perhaps some parents would want to read such stories with their children and I don't like to criticize books offering kids an uplifting message. However, as I finished reading this one, I was disturbed by the presentation of such serious problems as alcoholism being easily, almost magically, overcome. There is also an underlying theme that those with different beliefs are "infidels." On pages 68-69, there is a passage in which the young wife bitterly recalls her husbands reaction at "finding his religion (that of the Romish Church) so false and superficial that he had turned infidel, and now believed in nothing. Just to get another opinion, I handed the book over to an avid reader, age 10, who handed it back after two pages saying, "I don't get it."
Children's Literature - Donna Freedman
This book is as gentle as a summer shower, telling of the ways that rain affects different people in different places. Laser creates a series of small adventures and quiet discoveries in everyday settings such as children playing in the rain or a grownup ignoring his umbrella to look up to the sky. The pastel illustrations create a reflective mood, particularly when depicting the wonder on the faces of those who stop to contemplate the miracles of nature. A good rainy day read, and a fine reminder to parents to take time to smell the roses-or to feel the raindrops.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3When a gentle autumn rain simultaneously falls in the city, the town, and the forest, it touches the lives of two men, a woman, and two children. Upon seeing an elderly gent celebrating the rain, a commuter forgets his rush and rediscovers a forgotten childhood memory. In town, the woman is inspired to paint a picture of a neighbor's house. All the while, the young boy and his sister play in a wood. When these characters come together, the man shares his reminiscence with his family, his wife shows everyone her painting, and the children tell about their afternoon. Meanwhile, the old man sits over a lonely bowl of soup and ponders the beauty of the storm. Laser's low-key look at one of the gifts of nature is the perfect antidote to the weather-hysteria of local TV news. Each character finds pleasure and a moment of time in which to enjoy it. Greene's fine pastel illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to the poetic text. A warm palette of earth tones emphasizes the season and reflects the quiet tone of the story. With unique overhead perspectives, the artist reveals the expansiveness of nature and the smallness of human encroachment upon it. The book's meditative ambiance makes it a good choice for one-on-one sharing, but it may be a bit slow for group readings.Jeanne Clancy Watkins, Upper Merion Township Library, King of Prussia, PA