Sam Usher’s Storm is a great book to inspire children to go outside and have an autumn adventure. We’ve already met the boy and his grandad in Rain, Sun and Snow and we love the way that their relationship and adventures harness the power of imagination and lead them outside to have fun.
The Story: It’s a windy autumn day and a boy and his grandad are looking for their kite. They reminisce as they discover objects from previous adventures but before long Grandad and the boy are having fun flying through the air along with a host of other kite flyers. But there’s a storm brewing – can they make it home before it arrives?
The boy has several ideas for windy day activities including our favourite – kicking up leaves – but it is Grandad who suggests kite flying. The calm inside the house as they look for their kite contrasts with the weather outside. The alliterative text is brilliant, we love ‘blustered and blew’ and ‘whirled and whooshed’, and combined with swirling leaves in the illustrations you are blown away as your read. Scarves blow sideways and the boy and his Grandad hold onto their hats as they finally step out of the iconic red front door, dressed almost identically, to start their adventure.
The boy and his grandad share a wonderfully strong bond, the story is a really lovely portrayal of family members from two different generations having fun together. We love the way that they immerse themselves in their adventure and the double page spreads showing them flying their kite are gorgeous.
The boy also shares his adventure with the toy that was lying on his bed at the beginning of the story. The dragon mask (which has a tail like another of Sam’s picture book characters, Sassoon) becomes a kite and at one point Grandad and the boy ride on its back. The flying scenes are wonderfully busy with a colourful array of kites and children in stripy jumpers. It’s amazing that the strings don’t get tangled together but that’s the beauty of this adventure, reality and fantasy are blurred together as the boy and his grandad’s imaginations take over.
Sam gave us an amazing insight into how he creates his illustrations in a blogpost for his Sun blogtour. It is amazing how much work goes into one drawing. The earthy colours that he has used for Storm are beautiful and after long consideration we decided that our favourite illustration is the cover with its embossed leaves and lettering – and we love the little owl on the front 🙂
Storm is a wonderful autumn read, Sam has conveyed the experience of a windy autumn day perfectly.
Author / Illustrator: Sam Usher
Thank you to Templar Publishing for sending Storm. It’s the perfect read for this time of year 🙂
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