When Yani visits Shani’s house, the two best friends are stuck in the house due to a rainy day. Instead of plopping in front of a TV or video game, Shani’s mother encourages them to use their their imagination which takes them all over the world. They become pirates, chefs, fashionistas and more from the comfort of their imagination.
The graphics for Yani and Shani’s Rainy Day are fabulous darling, just fabulous! The graphics from the cover to the end of the book are memorable and keep your attention. The skin tone and hairstyles of Yani and Shani are perfection as well as their impeccable style. Yani and Shani are the flyest picture book characters ever!
The execution of every scene expertly and uniquely speaks to the text, which is exactly what picture book illustrations should do. My favorite scene is the transformation of Yani and Shani into pirates, and their hairstyles reflect their swashbuckling daydream.
Moreover, I love the attention to details Ms. Barnes gives to the text from the small illustrations etched in the background of the watercolor palette to Yani and Shani’s matching necklaces.
The main characters are two beautifully drawn characters. I love their skin tone! Baby, that melanin is popping.
I bring attention to this fact because I’ve seen books where the illustrations of diverse characters are less than spectacular.
Yani and Shani both seem to come from well-to-do family because they have a sophisticated world view, which is quite contrary to stereotypical images of black families.
Was I thinking about Paris as a young person? Naw, I was thinking about cows.
I think this books is perfect for voracious young readers who want new experiences through the experiences that Yani and Shani have.
Imagination – Any book that encourages young people to use their imagination I’m for it. (Because if we can’t imagine a better world, it’s terrifying to think what the young people will do with it as is.) I also love this book because instead of encouraging the young girls to play with a cell phone, Shani’s mom encourages them to use their *gasp* imagination, an increasingly lost skill or so it seems.
Travel – Yani and Shani’s imagination takes them all over the place, and they are impeccably dressed as well. From Paris to safaris to their house in the city, you can discuss history, geography, and culture as subthemes of the travel theme.
This is definitely a kid-friendly books! Who doesn’t know a kid with an active imagination? (I was that kid with an active imagination, and this book demonstrates that nothing is wrong with an overactive imagination!)
I also like the rhyme ‘ Yani + Shani equals a never bored two’ that is remixed throughout the book.
I only have one minor concern. The book has a matte finish and not necessarily glossy. So sticky hands could potentially put wear and tear on this book, but books are supposed to be worn so I don’t think it’s a major concern.
Another great thing about the book is there is also a glossary in the back to learn new phrase that young readers might not be familiar with.
I love it. I highly recommend it. Big up to the the authors who are real friends in real life and their love and entegy definitely is demonstrated in the book. Also, I want to send a huge thanks you to the illustrator Ms. Barnes – she did that!
Great job to Kifana Press that’s based in Memphis and helped bring this book to life. They did a marvelous job.
Learn more about the book here.
Thanks for reading!
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