Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Once Upon a Rainy Day

Publish February 2, 2016

Once Upon a Rainy Day, by Édouard Manceau, is not your ordinary fairy tale.  In this clever, metafictional picture book, readers are forewarned that this story starts every day in the same way:  Mr. Warbler leaves his cozy cottage and heads down the forest path that leads directly to the Big Bad Wolf’s lair, and mayhem ensues.   Except today it is raining and all the characters stay at home.    While the rich narrative delivers a detailed account of the riotous events that normally take place, the graphically bold illustrations only show raindrops falling on rooftops and on lush woodlands.  It is up to the reader to conjure up their own images of the colourful cast of characters and their dramatic hijinks. This curious juxtaposition of text and pictures provides lots of fodder for the imagination.  Eccentric characters abound, including Amadeus, the rabbit, who maintains a secret underground passage and Niles, a flying squirrel, whose hot-air balloon also provides a perfect escape route.  A memorable chase scene involves Popof, a retired circus bear, whose giant trumpet blasts the interloping Wolf through the air.  In lovely, circular fashion, the book ends with the sun coming out and the tantalizing promise that “This time, the story can start for real …”  Playful and creative, this offering will spark many rainy day adventures.

Once Upon a Rainy Day

Édouard Manceau
Owlkids Books
ISBN 13: 978-1-77147-151-0