This Beautiful Day

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From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1—A dark and stormy morning cannot dampen the spirits of three siblings in this ode to summer weather. The day begins with a song, a dance, and a skip as the kids splash through puddles and march through the neighborhood with friends. As the sky clears, the children delight in doing what children do: playing outdoors, expending energy, and reveling in the opportunity to freely enjoy the pleasures of the day. “This beautiful day…/so great for parading,/for cartwheeling fun/or hiding/and seeking/or gliding/and sliding/in this marigold sun.” Jackson’s spare poetic text expresses the many ways that spirited children play, even as Lee’s marvelous pencil and acrylic illustrations adroitly create a sense of space, air, energy, and joy as the day progresses from gray to glorious. These children feel real, drawn with loose, sketchy lines that deftly depict movement and exuberance, with expressions to match. In spite of everything, it is time to take a seat down on a camp chair with a Popsicle. Who could ask for a more beautiful day? VERDICT A completely perfect book for summer read-alouds and interactive sharing.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library

Review

With colors and compositions conceived to celebrate the allure of water, the book jacket and opening scenes immediately recall Lee’s The Wave (2008).Three bored children, stuck inside even as it pours, are rendered in pencil, with paper-white skin. When the boy turns on the radio, blue swirls of music animate the space; even the stuffed rabbit’s ears perk up. As dance connects music and water, the children skip out into the puddles. Jackson’s words wisely allow room for Lee’s imagination. He makes no reference to rain; that interpretation of a “beautiful day” is the illustrator’s. The story is propelled by the creator’s spirited verses, featuring internal and end-of-line rhymes that scan with only an occasional bump: “This beautiful day… / so great for parading, // for cartwheeling fun / or hiding / and seeking // or gliding / and sliding / in this marigold sun.” Listeners will track the momentum of these kinetic kids as they swing from trees with friends, parachuting back to earth with umbrellas à la Mary Poppins. Digitally manipulated acrylics in summery shades fill the pages as the day brightens, offering another take on the title. Popsicles, paired with an e.e. cummings-esque arrangement of “doodly-doo”s and parenthetical bodily sounds, loosen up this jazzy, pizzazz-y romp—until the wind whips up. A delightful depiction of the ability of children to find joy without reference to atmospheric conditions. (Picture book. 3-6)  (Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW 6/1/17)

See all Editorial Reviews
In the tradition of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, acclaimed creator Richard Jackson and award-winning illustrator Suzy Lee prove you’ll be able to chase away any grey and gloomy day with just the right attitude, and a little bit of color.Why spend a rainy day inside? As three children embrace a grey day, they seems to beckon the bright as they jump, splash, and dance out of doors, chasing the rain away. The day’s palette shifts from greys to a hint of blue, then more blue. Then green! Then yellow! Until the day is a technicolor extravaganza that would make Mary Poppins proud. A joyous homage to the power of a positive attitude.