March 30, 2020


Written and illustrated by Celia Krampien
Roaring Brook Press
40 pp.
Ages 4-8
February 2020

It may be raining outside but, with Sunny around, it's never dull and gloomy.

As all the children trudge to school in the rain "while the wind crawls up your sleeves and puddles soak your boats, making your footsteps squish and squash," Sunny sees the positive: she gets to use her big yellow umbrella.
From Sunny by Celia Krampien
Others might think it scary to be picked up by a huge gust of wind and carried high above the town but Sunny, with her joyful disposition, enjoys the feeling of flying like a bird.  And when she's flung above the sea, she enjoys watching the waves before she is dropped into a boat. Then when she's catapulted by a big wave onto a rock, she "thought things weren't that bad because at least she wasn't alone."

From Sunny by Celia Krampien
But, when her gull companion leaves her alone, it's the one moment when she almost loses that sunny attitude. Fortunately, he returns with some friends and rope and they carry her and the boat safely to the school yard.
From Sunny by Celia Krampien

Now, most people would say that being late for school was a bad kind of situation.
But not Sunny.
From Sunny by Celia Krampien
Sunny may be the story of a little girl who goes on an amazing adventure that causes her to be late for school but it's really a story about attitude. Debut author-illustrator Celia Krampien contrasts the glass half-empty and glass half-full attitudes for each scenario which Sunny finds herself in. Most of us would see rain while she sees the opportunity to use her umbrella. We might see only distress but she sees joy in what she is doing and with whom she is spending time. Celia Krampien's signature colour scheme (see her website at highlights that contrast of attitudes of most versus Sunny. Sunny's yellow umbrella, rain jacket and boots stand out from the teals and turquoises, sometimes darker and sometimes lighter, of the rainy day and tumultuous sea. The balance of light and dark keeps the story grounded, never too cheery or dismal, and the right blend of imagination with reality.

In our troubling times when many are worried and upset about everything from illness to the changes in their routines and way of doing things, seeing the world as Sunny does would make it a whole lot easier to weather. She still gets to school in the end, just as we'll get through this too. It may be a different way than we had planned but, with an optimism like Sunny's, it may be more manageable.

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