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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

No Matter What the Weather: More Than Sunny! by Shelley Johannes

"IT'S EARLY!" GRUMBLES LITTLE BROTHER."

"IT'S SUNNY AND BIRDY" COAXES BIG SISTER."

She hustles her sibling into a spring jacket and outside beside the pond, where he complains...

"MUCKY!"

"IT'S SUNNY AND DUCKY!"...

. . . Sister counters, as a proud Mama Duck and a long line of little ducklings strut by.

And spring blows through as if on one long breezy day, until suddenly one warm sunny day, the siblings realize it's summer. Little Brother whines!

"IT'S MUGGY!" AND BUGGY!"

But as Shakespeare says, "Summer's lease hath all too short a stay."

As summer races by, the kids have fun, collecting caterpillars and worms and wishfully fishing and not catching fish, waiting out stormy, steamy, summer rain showers, suiting up in yellow slickers and boots, catching squirmy worms in the mud, and before they know it, summer melts away, to be replaced by whooshy winds and nervous, fussy, busy squirrels storing up acorns for the winter. And on one gray, cloudy day, they wave goodbye to the geese sailing by, heading south. And then it's. . .

"WINTER. AND WAITY!"

The two kids color and cut out Christmas decorations to hang from the windows with red yarn and watch at the windows for snowflakes to catch and melt on their tongues. And then it is snowy, and ready for sledding and chilling and spilling and then watching at their dark windows. . . .

And with a shushed sneaking downstairs to step out on the porch, they see... their very own falling star.

It's the grand finale of one more joyful trip around the sun to celebrate those blessed seasons of childhood, in Shelley Johannes' delightful latest, More Than Sunny (Abrams Books, 2021). It's all good weather to be together, and rain or shine, it's all fine!

Author Johannes' descriptive pairs of rhyming adjectives are as bouncy as the big sister's two ponytails, leading the way through the seasons, and artist Johannes' charming illustrations in pencil and mixed media are as lively and bright as the two young siblings in a sweet salute of the seasons, from spring glow to falling snow, late and lovely.

Says Publishers Weekly, "Breezy and buzzy/ summer and fuzzy!” transitions to “winter.../ and waity” before a sweet close focuses on a turnaround—and the night sky. Dynamic art rendered in pencil and mixed media on tracing paper and finished digitally matches the text’s energy in this charming seasonal perusal."

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