Maribel's Rainy Day


Children - Concept
30 Pages
Reviewed on 09/07/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

What a delightful book for children! Delight is what children will experience while enjoying Maribel’s Rainy Day, beautifully designed by Jeffrey Vallis and superbly illustrated by Ignacio G. But what teachers and parents will find especially pleasing is the content of Maribel’s story, written by Leanne Richter and Shauna Havlina. Maribel is really upset because the non-stop rain is preventing her from going to play with buddy Vincent, and she’s tried everything she can think of to keep herself dry, including holding her cat, Smokey, over her head to shelter her. She flops on her bed, soaking wet, and sulks. But her foster mom, Ana, sees her despondency and comes up with a sensible solution that allows her to walk right through the rain. What do you think she suggested?

This is the point at which a teacher could stop reading Maribel’s Rainy Day and ask the class what solutions they would offer Maribel. Those solutions are obvious to an adult, but this is the chance for children to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. A valuable exercise, indeed. At the end of Maribel’s Rainy Day, the authors have included some wonderful little exercises to further cement the primary message of the story: to think positive. These exercises involve learning to take deep breaths when you’re uptight, and jotting down your worries along with writing positive affirmations to help chase each worry away. The authors have collaborated on two other wonderful “teaching” books for children. All three are worth a closer look. Check them out.

Jack Magnus

Maribel's Rainy Day is a picture book for children, grades K-3, written by Leanne Richter and Shauna Havlina and illustrated by Ignacio G. Maribel’s plans for going to see her friend Vincent’s new tree house had hit a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. It was raining. Not just a little sprinkle, but a big thunder and lightning storm with drenching rain and gusty winds. Every time Maribel tried to go out, she ended up getting soaking wet and running back to her house. She tried to cartwheel her way to Vincent’s house with no luck. Then she held her pet cat over her head, and that too did little to keep her dry. Maribel was starting to think she’d never be able to see that tree house or get to play in it. Ana had been Maribel’s foster mom for about a year now, and Ana wondered why Maribel was all wet and not at all happy. When she found out, Ana had some simple solutions that made Maribel’s day much better.

Maribel's Rainy Day is an inspirational book that shows kids how to cope with fears and situations that seem overwhelming. Ana’s solution to Maribel’s problem is not as perfect as simply making the storm go away and the sun come out, but it goes a long way toward showing kids how to deal with the unforeseen issues that sometimes do get in the way of our plans. I loved seeing how the authors use the metaphor of an umbrella on a rainy day to help kids learn to cope with the insecurities and fears everybody experiences at some point in their lives by giving them positive affirmations. The Activities appendix is filled with great ideas for parents and caregivers to practice along with young readers. And Ignacio G’s bold and brightly colored illustrations truly make this inspirational book come to life. Maribel's Rainy Day is most highly recommended.

Melinda Hills

Maribel wants to visit her friend, Vincent, and spend some time in his new tree house, but the weather is a problem in Maribel’s Rainy Day by Leanne Richter and Shauna Havlina. Maribel can’t figure out how to get to Vincent’s house without getting soaked and everything she tries doesn’t work. When Maribel’s foster mom realizes the problem, she offers a solution – wearing rain gear to keep dry. Finally, Maribel is able to follow through with her plans after she accepts Ana’s help.

Ana explains the purpose of each piece of rain gear, and the protection that is offered is compared to what you can do for worries and concerns. Similar to an umbrella, you can use your positive thoughts to bounce away negative thoughts and worries just like the umbrella bounces away rain drops. Just like rain gear protects you from getting wet, ‘worry gear’ helps to deflect doubts and insecurities so you don’t get soaked by your troubles.

Authors Leanne Richter and Shauna Havlina are professional family therapists who counsel children and have put their experience into this wonderful book to help children deal with worries and negative thoughts. Maribel’s Rainy Day uses the metaphor of rain to relate to the deluge of negative messages that can affect children, and provides advice by comparing ‘worry gear’ to ‘rain gear’ for clarity of understanding. After the story, there are some activities similar to meditation and guided imagery for children to practice surrounding themselves with ‘protection’. This is a potent and positive way to help any child cope with the stress of pressure and negativity. Great concept and well written/edited. This should be required reading for all schools!