Iman Issa, Making Places, 2007.
“I’ve built my hatreds up over the years, little by little.”
I’m usually wary of wordless childrens’ stories. They seem to come loaded with false promises of three-year-olds reading quietly to themselves. And when that doesn’t happen, they bully the adult reader into spinning clever, riveting yarns on the fly, and often with feeble assistance from the illustrator (“And here, well, the bear continues to be lost…”) So when I run into textless picture books at the library, I push them right back onto the shelf.
I make an exception, though, for Barbara Lehman’s books. Rainstorm, in particular, is an absolute gem for reading aloud. Each page radiates wonder and mystery, and is loaded with rich tonal cues so that describing the action is no irritating chore, but an inviting challenge.