Many kids dream of becoming something – an astronaut, a firefighter, a teacher – but they often don’t realize those dreams. Felicia Bond has dreamed of becoming an author and illustrator and actually has become quite popular in the realm of children’s books. In fact, she is part of a New York Times best-selling team for the If You Give… series of books. Felicia Bond broke away from that team, only for a short while, to write books of her own, one of which is called The Day It Rained Hearts.
Felicia Bond’s take on the 1983 books called Four Valentines in a Rainstorm follows a young girl named Cornelia August as she finds a creative way to use of a truly unusual downpour. It’s raining hearts and Cornelia tries to catch them. After studying them, the girl realizes that each of the hearts is special in its own way. So she thoughtfully makes four cards out of these hearts and mails them to her friends – a dog, a turtle, a mouse, and a bunny, all of whom were thrilled to get the cards.
The Day It Rained Hearts is different from the previous version in its aesthetics. It’s a board book that is much larger and has a white frame around simple and sweet vignettes centered on the main character making four handmade cards. The book also gives something extra for young readers to make their own cards. It comes with a heart-themed sticker sheet. Felicia Bond accompanies her whimsical illustrations with simply written text. The illustrations are ink-and-watercolor, and in the middle of each page, which gives the spreads a cozier feel.
Overall, this republished story has retained its charm. It’s a delightful read for story hour at a library or school, but it can also be fun to read one-on-one with your preschool- and grammar school-aged children, up to 6 years old. They’ll love to watch Cornelia catch the hearts and try to decide what she should do with them. And parents will love it because it teaches children about generosity, sharing, and the basics of making and giving valentines to people you care about. Pick up a copy and make reading The Day it Rained Hearts an annual event.