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Marie-Louise Gay.
Don Mills, ON: Stoddart Publishing, 1987.
unpaged, paperbound boards, $12.95.
ISBN 0-7737-2112-6. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Stories in rhyme.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 3-6

Reviewed by Barbara Egerer.

Volume 15 Number 5
1987 September

Rainy Day Magic is the fourth children's book illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay. The others are Lizzie's Lion ¹, by Dennis Lee, Moonbeam on a Cat's Ear (Stoddart, 1986) and (Editions Ovate, 1985), which Ms. Gay wrote as well as illustrated.

Rainy Day Magic is a delight, a journey through the magical world of a child's daydreams. It is a rainy, foggy day and Victor's friend Joey (a girl) has come to play - "ever so softly we cruised through my toys." In the dark cellar (they are relegated to the cellar because Daddy has a headache), old creaky chairs are turned into castles. A dark corner turns gray to become a "place where banana trees sway." The children romp with tigers and snakes. The undersea adventures are wonderfully colourful with sea horses, starfish, and a gigantic whale. The whale swallows the children "like two pieces of cake" and the dark once again is upon them as when the exploring first began in the cellar. The children are hastened back to reality when supper is called and the light floods down the basement stairs. The only souvenir of the children's journey of enchantment is a neon pink starfish stuck in Joey's hair.

The drawings are wonderful. Fresh, vivid colour. Lovely renderings of a jungle, an undersea world, an enormously beautiful blue whale, an appealing pink sea horse ("winning at sea-solitaire") and a mauve starfish wearing sunglasses relaxing in a deck chair amid sea life of yellows and greens.

This enchanting story can be enjoyed by very young children and older ones too. As an adult, I was immediately taken by the charm, wit, rhyming verse, and colour in the story.

I look forward to many more marvellous stories from Ms. Gay. The Canadian Association of Children's Librarians has awarded Marie-Louise Gay the 1987 Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award for Moonbeam on a Cat's Ear, which was published by Stoddart in the spring of 1986. Ms. Gay also won both the French language and English language 1985 Canada Council Children's Literature prizes for Lizzie's Lion and Drole d'école.

Barbara Egerer, York Region Roman Catholic Separate School Board, Toronto, ON.

¹ Reviewed vol. XIII/2 March 1985, p.86.

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