Rainy Morning – Daniel Pinkwater

Rainy Morning, written by Daniel Pinkwater and illustrated by Jill Pinkwater, is wonderful. It’s hilarious, wacky, welcoming, improbable and stuffed with stuff to give a parent reading it a grin or two. The art is very Matisse-like–swatches of bright colors, patterns and swirly designs, windows with vistas, checkerboards, stripes.  It’s fun to look at and even more fun to read. The text is repetitious in exactly the right sing-songy way for chiming in on the punchlines.

Mr. and Mrs. Submarine are sitting at breakfast–the third breakfast of the morning–on a very rainy day when Mrs. Submarine sees the poor half-drowned cat sitting soggily in the window. So she opens the door and in he walks, dripping. Already we have an outrageous amount of breakfast being consumed and water all over the floor–not allowed in real life. But it’s just the beginning. Mrs. Submarine gives the cat, who is drying out by the stove, a corn muffin. Doubtless it is one of the few Mr. Submarine hasn’t eaten yet. And then Mr. Submarine hears the dog scratching at the door. The dog is followed by a horse, a murder of crows, a wild coyote and the chickens from across the street. Mrs. Submarine is very busy making corn muffins. Still raining. Mr. Submarine decides to bring in the car.

Soon enough there is a wildebeest and then Ludwig van Beethoven (Mrs. Submarine’s favorite composer–speaks German, likes corn muffins), the United States Marine Band, a small European circus–and some serious dripping. You should end up reading this book with a sharp little kid with absolute glee. It’s raining here today and I wish I had some corn muffins. But even having to make do with homemade cranberry scones, Rainy Morning cheered me up. Why aren’t books for grown-ups this much fun?

Rainy Morning   Daniel Pinkwater | Atheneum   1998

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