#1106 – Little Puddle Jumper: A Rainy Day Adventure by Kari Behrens & Ashley Lynn Martinez

lpjcoveruse Little Puddle Jumper: A Rainy Day Adventure
Written by Kari Behrens
Illustrated by Ashley Lynn Martinez
CreateSpace  3/14/2017
34 pages    Ages 4—8

“Little Puddle Jumper” is a lyrical piece that follows a young boy as his imagination, inspired by the falling rain, leads him on an exciting rainy day adventure. He will conduct an orchestra, brave the stormy sea, and soar above the streams! Alternating between real and pretend play, this title sparks the imagination of children while simultaneously honoring the beauty of the rain.” [AUTHOR]

[WC 469]
A nameless little boy rushes outside to greet the rain. With arms stretched out, he opens his mouth and tastes the drops, bidding the rain hello. Wearing an iconic yellow raincoat and hood, with red boots, the boy holds a large green umbrella in his arm, but it is soon ditched to conduct a symphony of rain, the “pitter-patter, pitter-patter” and the lightning’s BOOM! BOOM!” rings out his song.


The young boy continues his imaginative journey, spotting a road full of water. “A river!” With mom’s earlier help, he built a small raft. Now, as a mighty captain, he steers the vessel, it flows down the river into the swirling and churning sea. It is his job to bring everyone home safely. But the young boy’s day does not yet end. He wants to be a bird and soon his wings have spread and he is flying through the air.

Littler Puddle Jumper recreates a young boy’s dreams, as he plays alone in the puddles and soft rain filling his immediate world. The text is quite ambitious for the young child. While the text flows nicely and the majority of rhymes hit the right flow and tension, some of the word choices simply do not work in a story narrated by a young boy—a toddler.


Adults who like poetry will like these lines. Young children, I fear, will need explanations and stopping to explain a word or a phrase, and then another word, will stop the picture book’s magic rhythm. I do love the child as the narrator of his journey. The young child being nameless allows other children to envision themselves taking the journey. It would be easy for parents to insert their child’s name into the story, making their own child’s narrative journey special. The only problem is the words chosen are at times out of the range of a toddler’s vocabulary.

The illustrations are terrific. The water, as it splashes around the boy, pops in the air showing every particle. Nice. The boy pops out of the house looking very much the toddler then seems to age, just a little, but with young children a little can be a lot. By the final spread the boy no longer seems the innocent toddler her began his journey as—maybe this is by design.


Little Puddle Jumper is Behrens’ sophomore book. Her first, Backyard Bug Hunt, also sets a young child on an all-day adventure. While I appreciate the thoroughness, once the child reached his home this journey—the day in the rain—is over. The young boy’s journey began, correctly, as he stepped out of his door to greet the rain, and would have been best to end at the same door. The story is the journey, which is well done. I’d prefer less showy, complicated words a toddler, as narrator, probably does not know, but that is where the suspension of belief comes in for readers. You either have it or you don’t, and for Little Puddle Jumper I couldn’t get there. The text is extremely well done. It simply did not match it’s narrator’s natural tone.

Overall, Little Puddle Jumper is a good sophomore effort. As a new voice in children’s literature, Behrens is worth keeping track of. As she grows, her work will only get better and better.

LITTLE PUDDLE JUMPER: A RAINY DAY ADVENTURE. Text copyright © 2017 by Kari Behrens. Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Ashley Lynn Martinez. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, CreateSpace, New York, NY.

(to be added soon) Amazon—Indie Books—Apple Books—CreateSpace
See Book, Meet Author HERE.



Reprinted with permission from LITTLE PUDDLE JUMPER: A RAINY DAY ADVENTURE © 2017 by Kari Behrens, CreateSpace. Illustrations © 2017 by Ashley Lynn Martinez.

Copyright © 2017 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Little Puddle Jumper: A Rainy Day Adventure
Written by Kari Behrens
Illustrated by Ashley Lynn Martinez
CreateSpace 3/14/2017


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