SAFE IN A STORM
by Stephen R. Swinburne, illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
Age Range: 2 – 7
A soothing story follows adult animals as they protect their young and offer words of comfort during stormy times.
The story opens and closes with an adult collie and puppy, at first watching a storm roll in. The final pages show the same pair safe inside their farmhouse, with the reassuring words, “A storm will always end.” Each double-page spread features an adult with one or two babies, ranging from moles to whales to giraffes. The animals are all cuddly-cute and nonthreatening, even the wolves and the bobcats, and the swirling storms are evocative without being too scary. Each spread has a rhyming couplet in the adult’s voice addressing the stormy weather, along with some reassuring advice about staying safe next to the grown-up. The text doesn’t specify whether the adult animals are mothers or fathers, and though the larger animals seem parental, the story is dedicated “to teachers and school staff everywhere, who provide a safe harbor for children every day” and to the memory of the Sandy Hook Elementary victims. The story could be effectively used after any sort of disaster, with its supportive words about an adult’s calm shelter keeping little ones safe.
From young preschoolers afraid of thunderstorms to school-aged children learning to deal with worrying aspects of the larger world, this encouraging story offers a hopeful view of the protective power of caring adults. (Picture book. 2-7)
SAFE IN A STORM