A “HOLE” LOTTA FUN: Outstanding in the Rain by Frank Viva

Oustanding_coverOutstanding in the Rain by Frank Viva
Tundra Books, April 2015.

Outstanding in the Rain, by Toronto-based author and graphic designer Frank Viva, takes readers on a fun-filled ride. They’ll whirl through its vibrant pages whose die-cut holes transform the words and illustrations before their eyes.

A young boy, celebrating his birthday with his mother at the Coney Island amusement park, encounters a series of mishaps that threaten to dampen his special day. He drops his ice cream cone on the ground. He shouts in his mother’s “ear” only to realize it was her “rear”. He gets caught in the rain. Luckily, the reassuring company of his mother and the kindness of strangers always make things better and brighter for the birthday boy. Kids will relate to the boy’s close-up expressions and telling body language during his surprise outing on the bustling boardwalk.

Outstanding_SpreadThis book is entirely made up of double-page spreads blasting with colour, movement, and style reminiscent of mid-century pop art. Its complimentary palette of gold, brown, turquoise, tangerine, and buttery white helps evoke the lively setting from day to night. The author’s clever oronyms and rhyming schemes roll out like clockwork throughout the simple narrative; they are sure to get gasps and giggles from young and adult readers alike.

***Thanks to Tundra Books for letting me be part of the April Reading Club and sending me a gorgeous copy of this book.***


13 thoughts on “A “HOLE” LOTTA FUN: Outstanding in the Rain by Frank Viva

    • Carole Besharah says:

      It sure is! My daughter and I laughed out loud a few times because his use of die-cut holes to make new words and pictures is ingenious. Great book production.

    • Carole Besharah says:

      Oh, yes. It’s THAT kind of book.

      I love Frank Viva’s vintage-inspired art. I first encountered it on the cover of The New Yorker. So happy that he ventured into the realm of picture books. Kids love him too!

  1. These cute picture books make me miss the days of reading them to my kids. I never thought they’d get too old for them…
    I have to take this chance to ask how you’re doing with Far From the Madding Crowd? I’m on page 270. I had to take a break from it, but I’m back at it again.

    • Carole Besharah says:

      Oh, that’s great Naomi! You’re way ahead of me. I’ve listened to about 3 hours of the unabridged audio book so far (while sketching) but intend to finish it early next week on my Kindle.

      I can’t wait to see what you write about! Will I be able to add snippets and a link of your review to mine? Oh! Wait! I usually make my “Reading the Classics into a top 5 highlights (good or bad, snarky or serious) posts. Maybe we can do a Carole and Naomi top 10 highlights and add it both our blogs? Or, perhaps we cold both come up with a top five list and link to each other’s blog? Could be fun!

      • I am willing to do it either way. Doing it separately might be easier, and kind of fun to see if we overlap at all, or if we come up with completely different things. And, it would work nicely if we posted the same day (and time of day). What do you think?
        So far, for me, it would be 5 highlights, because I am quite enjoying it. Although, I can think of a couple of things to make fun of – you always can with these classic romances.

      • Carole Besharah says:

        Ok. Let’s do our own thing, on the same day. That sounds best. How Does April 30 at 4 PM sound? Too soon?

      • I should be able to manage that! If something comes up, I’ll let you know, and you can do the same. Are you in Ontario? If so, you’re an hour behind me, I think, so that would be 5:00 for me. Is that right?

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