Review Blog

Mar 24 2020

Tabitha and the raincloud by Devon Sillett and Melissa Johns

cover image

EK, 2020. ISBN: 9781925820133. 32pp., hbk.
Nearly 50 years ago Judith Viorst wrote a book that has become a classic called Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and that is exactly what Tabitha is having. From the moment she wakes up in the morning there is a dark raincloud hanging over her head and nothing goes smoothly. Her scrambled eggs are soggy; her teacher thinks her picture of a giraffe is a dinosaur; and no one wants to sit with her at lunch. It really was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day! But then Tabitha remembers that every raincloud has a silver lining . . .
This is a story that will resonate with every reader, for who hasn't woken up with a raincloud hanging over them, at some stage. Sadly though, whether we get out of bed on the wrong side or not, we have to get up and deal with what eventuates. The redemption is though, how we choose to respond to those events and although it takes Tabitha a while, her resilience and natural optimism help see her through. The most damaging and hurtful things we hear are those our inner voice tells us (particularly if they're confirming what others tell us) but as we know from The proudest blue, we have to learn to "[Not] carry around the hurtful words that others say. Drop them. They are not yours to keep. They belong only to those who said them." Instead we need to be like Tabitha and look for the silver lining and change the messages and our actions into something positive. We can't always get rid of the problems, but we can learn strategies to help manage them so we become more resilient and better people for having to cope.
The close relationship between the text and the graphics (a unique form of collage) meld in the final picture that sums up Tabitha's new knowledge perfectly.
This is an important addition to your mindfulness collection and there are comprehensive teachers' notes to tease out all the strands of the story.
Barbara Braxton

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