Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Storm Book

We were chased off the beach yesterday by thunder and lightning. We managed to get back to the house just before the rain hit. The kids and I watched the storm from the windows for a little bit and then sat down to play a game of RISK. Later in the afternoon after we had driven home, another storm swelled up. The rain poured down and the thunder rumbled and we even lost power for a few minutes. When it was over Madeleine spotted a rainbow outside the front window.

Charlotte Zolotow 1952
pictures by Margaret Bloy Graham

A really beautiful description of a summer storm falling on the country, and the city and a fisherman at sea. Told in descriptive prose and double page illustrations.  We read it in our living room when the power was out and we could see lightening through the window.
A little cool wind suddenly races through the trees, sways the rambler roses, bends the daisies and buttercups and Queen Anne's lace and the long grass until they make a great silver sighing stretch down the hill.
Then it happens!  Shooting through the sky like a streak of starlight comes a flash so beautiful, so fast, that the little boy barely has time to see the flowers straining into the storm wind.

The sky darkens again as the thunder draws closer, rolling loudly nearer, until, with a sudden explosion, it crashes overhead and a silver torrent of rain slants down. The daisies bend almost to the ground under the tearing weight of the wind and the rain sweeping over the rambler roses and trees, as they toss in the cool huge arms of the storm.

The tops of the tall buildings look cut off by the storm darkness, and the little city trees strain at their roots in their loop-fenced circles, and the wind whips the leaves from their branches.  The automobile tires make a swish-swishing sound as they pass.

The rain drives against the windows of the little boy's house.  It beats a loud tattooing pitpatpitpatting on the roof, and the wind rising and falling in the trees sounds like the sea breaking against the shore.

A queer yellow light spreads over the earth now, so faint, so fine, so beautiful that the little boy lets out his breath with a soft whistling sound.  And suddenly all the birds break into song.  The glistening wet trees are loud with sharp quick twitterings and long full-noted calls.

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