today’s children storybook summary is
By Alvaro F. Villa
Storyline: It is a bright day. The sun is shining over the grassland and a bird is flying over the river. Two children are playing with their dog under an old but proud tree, not far from their white and blue house, with red and pink flower beds and a short white fence around.
At sunset, the kids, a girl and a boy, go inside and play video games. Their mother is reading and their father if fixing a window. The two-story house is neatly decorated. The walls are painted in warm colors and a family photo gallery is guarding a flight of stairs. It gives you a sense of comfort and harmony.
But all this is just about to be disrupted. Heavy clouds are gathering at the horizon, throwing a black shadow over the earth and blowing everything on their way. Still and lonely, in an island of sunshine, the house is ready to face whatever faith is to come.
At night, the family gather in the great room in front of the TV to watch the weatherman as he gives them the news of the large storm ahead. When the children go to sleep, mom and dad are lingering around the kitchen table, worried of what’s yet to come.
Their plan is to erect a small stone wall around the house which may keep the water from entering in. The next day, the skies are dark; and it rains, and it pours. A truck dumps a load of big boulders and everybody’s working on the wall. When it’s ready, mother and children pack their car with some of their belongings while dad secures the shutters. Then they take off waving good bye to the abandoned house through the back window of their car.
That night it rains, and rains and the waters are raising dangerously, almost to the top of the stone wall, while the family spends the night in town, on a hotel room. Still awake with worries, the father feels like the storm would flood the whole world.
And he’s right to be concerned. The waters have passed the wall and broken into the house, flooding the first floor, washing away furniture and wall decoration, smashing chairs and tables, and dumping mud and debris all over. The shutters are gone, and the front porch had almost collapsed, while the troubled waters are carrying away the old tree, now uprooted.
When the morning comes, the storm is over, and the valley is buried in mud. A lonely crow watches over perked on a broken branch. The house is damaged and filthy with water residues. Down the old road, the family car is rushing back. The parents and the kids run out and see the disaster that the flood had done to their home. The girl buries her face in her father’s chest.
But home is home no matter what. Soon, the family get to work. They clean the first floor, erect a new porch, repair the windows and put new shutters, paint the roof blue, as it once was, and the house white again. Neighbors are helping. They plant new trees and pot new flower buds. A white fence is, once again, coiled around the house. When the work is done, the family spends the day outdoor, admiring their home which is now even prouder then before.
Characters: a girl with long blond hair, a boy with dark hair, mother and father, a white dog, other people.
Illustration: Alvaro F. Villa is the illustrator of this book. As a matter of fact, the storyline that I wrote above, is a description of this wonderful work of art. That is putting into words 16 beautiful illustrated pages. Because the book has no words, just beautiful paintings.
Alvaro F. Villa manages to tell the story of loss and recovery after a devastating storm followed by the implacable flooding. Through colors, contrast and shadows, he recreates the ambient the skies before, during and after a storm, which, flipping through the pages of this book, one can almost feel it. It is an gorgeous work of art doubled by a valuable lesson.
Recommended Age: 5 to 10 years old
Reading Time: 4”
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