Outstanding in the Rain, from picture book genius Frank Viva, is an innovative joyful look at our language.
Our little narrator is spending the day on Coney Island for his surprise birthday celebrations. He visits the beach, eats ice cream (eventually), and enjoys the crazy slide. Through a series of carefully placed die cuts his speech is transformed from one page to another in a clever, thoughtful manner.
Thus, ‘Those sandwiches there,’ becomes ‘On the sand which is there,’ once the page is turned over. Once the page is flipped over, that hole then helps to form part of a new picture thanks to its glimpse through to the previous page. Genius! This continues on every page, rendering this book as much about what is happening on each page as the thrill of guessing what sentence the words could possible be transferred into over the page.
The playful nature of the text makes Outstanding in the Rain an endearing and clever little picture book. Frank Viva’s illustrations joyfully scream sophistication, with an absorbing colour palette which is a real feast for the eyes.