Title: Home in the Rain
Author: Bob Graham
Illustrator: Bob Graham
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Paperback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description: Francie’s going to have a new baby sister very soon.  but what will her name be?

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review: This is an interesting book with some lovely illustrations but a story that’s a bit lost on me. ‘Home in the Rain’ is a paperback book that’s wider and a bit bigger than A4 in size and is filled with thick and glossy pages of colourful pictures and some text. The story is a simple one about Francie and her mother driving home from Grandma’s in the rain, where Francie wants to find out what her baby sister will be called.

The first image after the front cover show Francie and her mother saying goodbye to her Grandma. The tale then continues on the next pages. It is raining heavily during the drive back and at some point they take a break to have some lunch, where Francie asks what her sister will be called when she’s born. The girl gives ideas for some names but her mother says the right name will come at some point. There is not much to the story, it focuses on the rain a lot, mentioning characters and animals who are affected by the rain. And towards the end (spoiler alert): there is a moment when the perfect name finally comes to Francie’s mother and she and Francie hug.

Home in the Rain book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

 

When I started reading this, the book felt fun and I thought there would be a great ending to the story, but it’s the ending that I find a bit strange. While Francie’s mother does come up with a name, there is no reason for that particular name being picked. The way the story plays out I though the name might be related to their car journey or appear on the side of the building that’s pictured, but there’s a different word on the building and there isn’t any reason why that particular name would just pop into her mum’s head. It feels like a missed opportunity to have a little extra fun with this story.

The rest of the story though is very fun, and I like the way the author has made a car journey in the rain feel interesting and exciting. I remember being a child and spotting all sorts of things while looking out of a car window, that I just don’t pay attention to as an adult passenger and it’s this child’s view that makes the book interesting. There are illustrations showing the whole story and the pictures tell more that the words. While the rain gives most pages a grey look, there is a lot of colour too, especially inside the car. The illustrations are really good, and have a lot of fun details to spot, in fact you can spend time just looking at some of the illustrations to spot the fun things. The images are all lovely and I can’t fault this book at all for the pictures inside.

Home in the Rain book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

 

The last page of the book show another image which concludes the story. While I really love the images, I just don’t find the story that appealing. It was good at the beginning, but at the crucial point of the tale, it just didn’t feel so magical with the name having no relevance to the story. It’s a shame as the book is otherwise lovely to look at. I think children will enjoy the illustrations and they might enjoy talking about the potential names and the idea of a future baby sister, but apart from that it’s a lovely book that’s just let down a bit by it’s story.


Do you like this book?  What other picture books are you fond of?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂