Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2010 February #1 *Starred Review* Zoe wants a pet. More than anything. To get her mind off dogs on street corners and cats cuddled up in windows, Mama suggests that Zoe help with her aunt's baby shower. That night in bed, Zoe hears the gently falling rain and soon she's dreaming about a baby showerâof puppies, kittens, even piglets and ducklings. Weather reports note, "It's really raining cats and dogs!" Turtles are tangling traffic, and lambs are lolling on lawns. On the day of the baby shower, Aunt Ellie gets the drawing Zoe has made of her dream, but Zoe gets something too. Sitting in a rain puddle is a warm and wet puppy that she names Baby. When her aunt has twins, all the babies get to meet. The story meanders at times, but there is something so dear about this. With its mix of little ones, it's impossible to resist. Much of the charm comes from Zalben's sweet and funny ink-and-watercolor pictures, filled with delicious detail in both the homey scenes and windswept expanses of tumbling babies. From Zoe's bunny house slippers to the goldfish jumping back into their bowl after partaking in the rainy-day baby shower, this offers so much to look at that children will be turning pages after they know the story by heart. A whole new way to think about baby showers. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.
Publishers Weekly Reviews : PW Reviews 2010 February #1
Zalben doesn't leave much to readers' imagination in this meticulously inked but rather woolly tale of wish fulfillment. Zoe wants a pet: "She'd stare at dogs on street corners, cats curled up in windows, and squirrels in the garden." Her yearnings conflate with her anticipation of an aunt's upcoming baby shower, producing the book's centerpiece, an eight-page dream about a downpour consisting entirely of adorable animal babies: "Rabbits rained on rooftops. Lambs lolled on lawns. Turtles tangled traffic!" Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs it ain't: the watercolors are pretty, but a teensy-weensy sense of scale makes the images feel overworked and visually befuddlingâeven young eyes may need to squint. All the loose ends are tied up in short order: the shower is a success and following a thunderstorm, a stray puppy suddenly appears at her aunt's house, ready to be adopted. Zalben (Brenda Berman, Wedding Expert) gets in some great linesâin answer to the question of whether the baby is a boy or a girl, Zoe's aunt answers, "I hope so"âbut the deus ex machina ending is unsatisfying. Ages 3â7. (Mar.)
[Page 46]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews : SLJ Reviews 2010 March
PreS-Gr 2âZoe wants a pet more than anything in the world. Her bedroom is furnished with pet decor; she has paw-print rugs and wears bunny slippers. In fact, she thinks about pets all day long. Zoe's mom tries to take the child's mind off her obsession by encouraging her to help make decorations for her Aunt Ellie's upcoming baby shower. That night, she dreams about a shower of baby animals falling from the sky. Zalben's wordplay is evident as a news clip inserted into the illustration adds to this whimsical tale. "It is really raining cats and dogs," reports the weatherman. The day of the shower, "lightning struck and thunder roared, followed by a whimper, a scratch, and a tiny bark." Readers will smile as a puppy appears on Zoe's aunt's porch. The cartoon-style illustrations create a pleasing interplay between text and pictures. Zalben's use of white space throughout the background draws readers to the warm colors, evoking a cozy mood of hearth and home. Some of the pictures are paired with alliterative phases ("Turtles tangled traffic!"), making this choice a fun family read-aloud. This sweet story ends with charm and wit, including the name of the newfound puppy: "Baby."âMelissa Smith, Green Valley Library, Henderson, NV
[Page 136]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.