Thunderstorm Dancing is one of those books.
On the surface Germein presents us with a simple story about overcoming fears, in particular, the fear of summer thunder storms.
But thanks to her rhyming, flowing, exuberant language, I can also picture the music and free movement dance lessons that could easily evolve from this story.
As with any really good picture book, the illustrations enhance the text. Watson's dynamic drawings are full of sensory details and movement.
We see the young girl, fearful of the approaching storm, but thanks to her families ability to embrace the moment, she learns to see things differently.
The various elements of the summer storm are personified into the loving, familiar shapes of family:
Daddy is the wind....
Tommy is the clouds....
Poppy is the thunder....Each scary element is therefore, turned into a knowable and fun form.
The family brings all these elements together to make their own noisy, joyous lounge room storm....
Full of energy and excitement, Thunderstorming Dancing is an action-packed readaloud book...not recommended for bedtime though as everyone will want to join in this gorgeous rowdy romp.
Germein has also written several other well-known picture books, including one of my personal favourites, Big Rain Coming (illustrated by Bronwyn Bancroft).