In Abi Cushman’s scrumptious moody first picture book, Soaked, rarely has a dreary day been so delightful.
Sometimes whilst you’re in a funk, you just need to live that manner for a while; so it is with Bear. Channeling his internal Eeyore, Bear proclaims his emotions at the book’s first actual web page: “Look at all this rain. Everything is dreary. Everything is drenched. And no one is happy.” Pelted via rain and preserving an ice cream cone that’s been destroyed with the aid of the storm, it’s clean to apprehend in which he’s coming from.
Amid a dismal grey and cloudy landscape, Bear’s downcast eyes flawlessly deliver his bitter temper, which is properly counterposed through plops of crimson from his melted ice cream. Bear’s determination not to be cheered up by his affected person companions—a sneaky badger, a watchful bunny and a big-spirited, fun-loving, Hula-Hooping moose—is impressive. Anyone who’s ever had a awful day will locate Bear’s gloomy temper relatable, and best a reader with a coronary heart of stone ought to face up to the appeal of the dispositional tug-of-conflict between Bear and Moose.
Cushman propels her story ahead with minimum text; her images do most of the paintings through a nice combination of spots and full-web page spreads. In one, Moose stands on his head, seemingly oblivious to the rain, as Bear sits on a log nearby, wallowing in his misery and letting out a “Blahhhhh. . . .” that spans the complete spread, highlighting Bear’s ennui. Pops of color comparison towards the book’s muted palette and liven up the action, specifically with regards to Moose’s multicolored, glow-in-the-darkish Hula Hoops.
There’s verbal fun, too, as while Bear, having been sufficiently restored to true spirits by using his friends’ efforts, jumps in a puddle and gleefully exclaims, “It’s so splishy and sploshy! Silly and soggy!” Of course, even if the rain stops and the solar begins to polish again, brooding Bear gets the right final words: “Blah. Too sunny.”