Waiting Out the Storm
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Waiting Out the Storm

4.5 2
by JoAnn Early Macken, Susan Gaber
A gentle, joyous tale for children everywhere who seek comfort during a storm—and parents who share with them a sense of nature’s wonders.

"Yes, Buttercup?"
"What’s that I hear?"

Wind whistles in the treetops, thunder rumbles, and lightning flashes and dashes between raindrops. Snug inside, a


A gentle, joyous tale for children everywhere who seek comfort during a storm—and parents who share with them a sense of nature’s wonders.

"Yes, Buttercup?"
"What’s that I hear?"

Wind whistles in the treetops, thunder rumbles, and lightning flashes and dashes between raindrops. Snug inside, a mother and child listen, watch, and wonder what the animals will do during the storm. Paired with beautiful illustrations evoking the moods and mysteries of the natural world, this lyrical call-and-response text is a lullaby to stormy weather — and to the warmth and safety of home.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
This is a book that shows the way informational picture books can go well beyond cut and dried facts. There is a lyrical quality to the call and response between a mother and daughter out walking as a thunderstorm is approaching. The child's questions and concerns about thunder and lightning are met with reassuring information about what causes these phenomena. The child goes on to worry about what natural creatures like turtles, chipmunks, and birds will do to escape the storm, and again the mother provides factually based answers. The book ends with the mother and daughter snuggling safe inside, waiting out the storm. Gaber's soft-toned illustrations are realistic enough to support the informational focus of the book while reinforcing the warm reinforcing mother-child relationship. This book would be a good resource to use for a theme unit on weather. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
PreS—As a child watches her mother collect daffodils on a windy spring day, she nervously plies her with questions about the impending rainstorm. Mother's reassuring, rhymed replies identify the "wind in the treetops"…[that] "calls the raindrops to come out and play," the "rumble of thunder," then lightning. She responds to her child's concern for the safety of turtles, ducks, chipmunks, and birds that live outside. Finally, mother and daughter, now safe in their house, crawl into a comfy chair near a window and cuddle up together: "But for now, let's just watch./It's a wonder to see./I am so glad I have you to share it with me." The child's questions are printed in large roman type; the mother's responses appear beneath in smaller italics. There is a softness to Gaber's acrylic paintings, and visible brushstrokes of color upon color create a textured wood floor, gauzy sheer curtains over window frames, and white sheets of falling rain. This mother's responses—both verbal and physical—provide soothing comfort during a natural phenomenon that is feared by many little ones, much as Grandma in Patricia Polacco's Thunder Cake (Philomel, 1990) assuages her granddaughter's fear by involving her in an activity that requires both concentration and bravery.—Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Kristi Jemtegaard
The graceful rhythm of these rhyming lines aptly mimics the steady patter of rain on the roof, and Susan Gaber's textured acrylic illustrations evoke the roiling movement of the clouds, the supple motion of branches bending to the wind, and the pungent smell of rain-soaked earth.
—The Washington Post
Kirkus Reviews
A poetic portrait of a young girl and her mother coming in from the rain. While the mother collects daffodils and her daughter watches, the storm announces itself by way of wind blowing through the trees. As the first drops fall, the girl starts to ask anxious questions about the sounds she hears coming from the sky and the animals she sees running for cover. The mother patiently offers her gentle rhyming answers. Readers learn where squirrels, birds, turtles and ducks go during the storm as they follow the mother-daughter pair inside. Gaber's soft watercolor, pencil and charcoal illustrations render the storm as a peaceful, natural event, doing a wonderful job of expressing the mother's calm, protective nature to mitigate the actual drama of the storm. Dark clouds look like soft, dark pillows, gold strands of lightning glitter through the foggy mist and the painterly textures give a comforting depth to the surfaces. There is also a nice juxtaposition between the text and visuals as the characters move toward shelter. A soothing read for an angry storm. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.40(d)
AD300L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

JoAnn Early Macken is the author of many books for children. About this book, she says, "When a storm strikes, we all long to hear a reassuring voice and feel a comforting touch. Susan Gaber’s illustrations capture the kind of safe haven I wish every child (and chipmunk and chickadee) could enjoy." JoAnn Early Macken lives in Shorewood, Wisconsin.

Susan Gaber is the illustrator of numerous picture books, including Ten Sleepy Sheep by Phyllis Root. She says, "I’m inspired and held in awe by how this graceful story takes on fear, love, and compassion all in a simple and familiar situation." She lives in Huntington, New York.

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Waiting Out the Storm 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
just-a-mom More than 1 year ago
My 3 yo daughter loves the pictures and story. Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago