A map to guide us through darkness
Rain before Rainbows by Smriti Halls and David Litchfield, Walker Books
What's it about?
After her home is set on fire, a young girl must leave with her fox companion, and find somewhere else to live. She climbs steep mountains, sails through stormy oceans and travels through thick forests. There are many dark and lonely nights before the girl finds a bright place to settle. Along the way, she makes animal friends who help guide her to safety. We see her forge a new beginning and build a future, and she and her fox grow a little older too.
What can we learn?
No matter how difficult a situation seems, it will improve. Our courage and perseverance are our greatest assets, and will help us find a way out of darkness. Don't be afraid to reach out to friends when in trouble.
What makes this stand out? A meaningful and moving, lyrical text and absolutely spectacular illustrations combine to make this a masterpiece. Powerful optimism and irrepressible hope burst from every page, and shine through the images as well as the words.
About those illustrations...
We are huge fans of David Litchfield. We have his Bear and the Piano trilogy which he wrote as well as illustrated. We also have A Shelter for Sadness by Anne Booth, which he created stunning artwork for too. I love how intricate, colourful and radiant his work is, and the shafts of sun and moonlight that illuminate so many scenes. I couldn't even choose a favourite spread from this book as every single one is breathtaking.
Why we love it...
Rain Before Rainbows is an exceptional work of art with a wonderful message. The text is simple and brief enough to be enjoyed by little readers, while the elaborate illustrations will engage older children.
Why you need it...
This is a gentle way of preparing young people for life's challenges and essential reading for grown-ups too. It would make a fabulous gift for adults as well as children, and would work brilliantly in a classroom.
About the author:
Smriti Halls is an award-winning, bestselling children’s author. Since the publication of her first picture book in 2012, her work has been translated into more than 30 languages, from Arabic to Afrikaans and from Catalan to Korean. Smriti works extensively with the Bedtime Stories Prison Project, helping parents in prison stay connected with their children at home through stories. See more of Smriti's books on her website: smriti.co.uk
About the illustrator:
David Litchfield is an acclaimed and award-winning author and illustrator. David first started to draw when he was very young, creating Star Wars and Indiana Jones ‘mash up’ comics for his older brother and sister. Since then, David’s work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, books and on T-shirts. He has exhibited his illustrations in solo and group shows all over the world. See more of David's work on his website: davidlitchfieldillustration.com