The Brain Storm by Linda Ragsdale ill Claudio Molina
The title is a clever play on words. There's brainstorm, a group consideration of a problem. Then there is a brainstorm, a condition where one is unable to think clearly. Linda Ragsdale combines the two in her wordless picture book, The Brain Storm.
A boy wakes up in a foul mood. Maybe it's the ringing alarm clock. Perhaps it's a hold-over from yesterday's problems. Whatever the source, a cloud is looming over the head of our young protagonist.
This dark storm manages to escape the hat on his head, and take residence in his backpack, his locker, and his attitude. Every activity and every person he encounters is affected by his gloom.
At the end of the day, he arrives home. A loving caregiver, perhaps grandma, takes a look at that scrawl hovering overhead. She sets to work with her knitting needles, taking the strands of the tangled mass of misery to fashion a sweater. What can he do with her creation? Wear it? Stare at it? Kick it around?
Claudio Molina simple illustrations with ample white space allow the swirling tornado of a brainstorm prominence on each page. Backgrounds are kept to a minimum, usually a line drawing with a few touches of color
A distinguishing feature of the boy's face are his expressive eyebrows. Molina conveys emotions with a brow's shape and angle. Tiny button nose and no mouth, draw attention to this facial feature. Readers finally see a mouth, curved into a gentle smile on the book's concluding page, when the brainstorm is gone.
Share this book. Then consider ways to move beyond the stormy moments in life.
Bad Days Happen
For children experiencing nighttime anxiety, a quitapena may be the solution. Handmade by a family in Guatemala, these worry dolls come in a colorful cloth pouch.