Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool, Primary
Author: Stephen R. Swinburne
Illustrator: Jennifer A. Bell
Safe in a Storm tells the story of several animal families as both parents and their young find shelter from the storm. The story is told in thirteen rhyming couplets that offer reassurance to young animals (and young readers). The audience is first introduced to a mother sheepdog and her pup hurrying home in the face of a rumbling storm. After that, the lens continues on to sweep across various geographies and introduces such animals as ducks, whales, giraffes, and bobcats among others. A full circle is accomplished by the last page where we see the mother sheepdog and her young pup at home comfortably nestled among cushions and out of the storm.
Safe in a Storm is a wonderful little picture book containing luminous illustrations, and it features a nice selection of unusual yet familiar animal subjects. The rhymes are simple, yet pleasant to read out loud and make for an excellent bedtime story. The illustrations themselves are sure to delight. Analogous colors are employed alongside rhythmic, swirling line work to suggest a raging storm. Warm highlights and circular focal points in the illustrations soften the appearance of the storm and remind us of the soft emotions a parent holds for their child. Whether this a book saved for a stormy day or a soothing bedtime read, Safe in a Storm is a delight meant for sharing.