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‘Lorraine’ – for your child, and you!

by Terri Schlichenmeyer, Special to The New Tri-State Defender

The flash-flash-flash was bad enough.

And then you heard the grrrrrrumble, the wind howled, and you were afraid. But it was OK: it was only a thunderstorm. As you’ll see in the new book “ Lorraine: The Girl Who Sang the Storm Away” by Ketch Secor, illustrated by Higgins Bond, when it’s over, the sun – among other things – will shine bright.

Lorraine lived on a Tennessee farm with her grandfather, and crops were not the only thing they grew. Music also grew “wild” because, when the workday was over, Lorraine grabbed her whistle and Pa Paw took out his harp. Until darkness came or storms arrived, they played music together on the porch, or sometimes in fields near the “Chinkypin tree,” when an old crow flew down and joined them in a dance.

By and by, one day, Lorraine noticed that the dinner bell that sat on the kitchen table was gone. Later that morning, she noticed that the tin scoop in the pigpen – the one that was usually found in a feed bin – was gone. Then Pa Paw couldn’t find his keys, even though they were just in his pocket. Every shiny thing on the farm had vanished, and it looked like the work of a thief!

But before they could figure out who was stealing the sparklies, a “Tennessee tempest” rolled in. It crashed and it roared. It BOOMed and it rumbled. It rolled and it rained and Lorraine , who was usually as fearless as they come, was fearful that night. She ran to her grandfather, who reached in his pocket for his harp and… it was gone, too! And so was Lorraine ’s whistle!

But Pa Paw knew exactly what to do. A storm can take a roof or a tree away. A storm can make a powerful noise and move the earth. But a storm can’t take away the music you have deep inside you – and so, he and Lorraine began to sing. They sang loud and they sang soft, they sang fast and they sang slow. They sang every song they knew until the sun came up to reveal a wet green field and a big surprise….

There are two reasons to love “Lorraine.”

One is for your child. The other is for you.

For your child, author Ketch Secor tells a lively rhyme that bounces with wide-open joy. Its simple story is happy and uncomplicated, with an old-timey feel and a sweet surprise at the end. It’s total feel-good, and in a time when storms dominate the news, it can also offer comfort.

For you, artist Higgins Bond offers absolutely exquisite illustrations that your eyes won’t stop feasting on. The colors are vivid, and each page contains delightful details that will seem as fresh on the tenth read-aloud as they did on the first.

If you are a grown-up who loves children’s books, this is one you’ll be showing off because of its beauty. But remember to share, too, for the story: “Lorraine ” is one your child will love in a flash.

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