With warmth and humor, award-winning author-illustrator Matt Phelan follows a child as she leads her daddy on some rainy-day flights of fancy.
It’s raining and raining and raining, and Penelope is bored. “What would you do if you had your druthers?” asks her daddy. Well, if Penelope had her druthers, she’d go to the zoo. Or be a cowgirl. Or a pirate captain who sails to the island of dinosaurs, or flies away on a rocket to the moon. If Penelope had her druthers, she’d go off on amazing adventures — but then again, being stuck inside may not be so bad if your daddy is along for the ride!
is the author-illustrator of the highly acclaimed and award-winning graphic novels The Storm in the Barn
, Around the World
, and Bluffton
. He is also the illustrator of many books for young readers, including Always
and I’ll Be There
by Ann Stott and The Higher Power of Lucky
by Susan Patron, which won the 2007 Newbery Medal. He lives in Philadelphia.
How much fun can be packed into a rainy day? Lots, if you’re like this energetic daughter-daddy duo. ... Phelan’s gentle ink-and-watercolor illustrations are filled with rollicking activity, and the soft colors and outlines evoke the close, loving relationship. ... [A] warm and fuzzy look at how much fun kids can have with game, fully supportive parents in their corners, and young listeners may pick up some new ideas for their own rainy days. ... Keep this for any day, not just a rainy one.
The story of a dad and daughter’s day of play is fond and indulgent, with illustrations adding touches of clear-eyed realism in the house’s growing chaos and Dad’s increasing tiredness. Phelan’s ink and watercolor art evinces its familiar brushy informal textures, with the mood transforming effectively from spare gray spreads of gloomy Penelope to scenes of sweep and motion and ever-denser toy population, while the window behind the action documents the slashing rain. The compact square trim size adds to the cozy feel, making this a cuddly choice for sharing with a shut-in youngster on a bleak day—as long as you’re geared up for the imaginative romp it will inspire.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Phelan alternates between fantasy scenes of the two wrangling cattle and outrunning dinosaurs and images of a living room in increasing disarray (many families will identify with the closing scene, in which just about every toy Penelope owns has been hauled out to support the cause). As Penelope’s father proves himself more than worthy of a “Best Dad Ever” mug, the energetic and warmly funny watercolors convey a father-daughter relationship that clearly means a lot to both parties.
This is a simple story with an underlying theme of parental love. The layout is clean and uncluttered, with only one or two sentences per spread. The book is suitable for bedtime, one-on-one sharing, or storytimes. The illustrations are realistic in nature and are rendered in ink and watercolor. With its theme of daddies and daughters interacting playfully and positively, this book will be suitable for inclusion in any picture book collection.
—School Library Journal
It is pouring outside, and Penelope is bored. Her daddy asks Penelope what she would do if she had her druthers (he supplies a wonderful definition), unleashing a storm of creative play. ... Readers may hope for rain, too, and the chance to act this book out.