I originally reviewed the digital copy I bought but have since been given a physical copy of the paperback by the publisher and would like to add some details so I am now republishing my review below, including pictures 🙂
Title: Rain Before Rainbows
Author: Smriti Halls
Illustrator: David Litchfield
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Digital and paperback
Description: In the midst of the rain, rainbows can be hard to see.
But with courage and the help of good friends, there is always a way out of the darkness.
A beautiful book with eloquent and irrepressible hope at its heart.
Review: EDIT: The picture book is a little bigger than A4 in size and filled with lots of glossy and thick pages that are covered in some really striking illustrations and text. Somehow the story feels like it has come to life much more by seeing the beautiful illustrations on paper and it is every bit as magical as I have originally said. The front cover features some lovely gold lettering which is actually glittery. It’s a really lovely picture book and one which I would recommend, even more now I’ve had the chance to see a physical copy!
This is such a lovely story book and perfect for showing children that there are always good things happening after bad. ‘Rain Before Rainbows’ has been released as a free ebook by the publisher (before the physical release in October) to raise awareness and hopefully to help raise some money for the ‘Save With Stories’ campaign run by Save the Children charity. It’s this free ebook that I’m reviewing and I think it’s a lovely book to embrace the campaign, and a great one to focus on at this strange time, given the weird situation everyone is in and the importance of the rainbow as a symbol of hope. But it’s also a great book to share with children at any time, regardless of what is happening in the outside world.
‘Rain Before Rainbows’ is a simple rhyming picture book with a story of a girl and her fox friend who have to leave their home during a storm after a terrible fire engulfs the castle they lived in. The girl and the fox must deal with rain and storms, and a dark scary night all while journeying somewhere far away. During the journey they encounter scary creatures and a raging storm in an ocean before finally finding a new and hopeful land where there are new animal friends to meet and where eventually the night turns into a bright and wonderful new day.
I love the simplicity of the story and yet what a powerful message it holds. Through the clever use of rhyming on every double page, we see the girl and fox go through terrible times of uncertainty, having terrible storms and rain, and yet at the end, like with all things in life, when there are bad times they are eventually replaced with good. It’s a great message to share with children, not only during this difficult time but also any time in their life when they are not feeling good. It’s a message to let children (and even adults looking at this) know that better times will come, even if there are bad things happening now, there’s always a cycle to life and just like the book shows, you can’t have a rainbow without first having some rain!
The illustrations are beautiful, very colourful and quite detailed. I am unable to show you any pictures due to this being a digital book, but the cover is a good example of the rest of the images in the book with every double page containing one image of the girl and fox and their adventure. I love the way the animals all look and the way that the expressions of the girl and fox can be clearly seen throughout the story. There is something quite magical about the images, I love the way the sea looks during the storm, the unique way the fish look and seem to bring the sea to life. I also love how detailed some pages are and the beautiful way that the streaks of sunlight are shown. There really is a lot to see in every page and it evokes a lovely atmosphere in the story, I’m sure plenty of children and adults will love looking at this book for the illustrations alone.
I do like this book, the rhyming is just perfect, the story is brilliant and has a great message, and the illustrations are gorgeous and so detailed that I just can’t help but want to look at this book again and again. I would recommend getting this picture book. It’s a great way to show children that things will get better when they feel things are bad and maybe it’s a message that many adults need to see and read too at the moment!
Have you read this book? What do you think about the message of hope, or rainbows after rain? Have you embraced the rainbow symbol recently? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂