Sam Usher, Sam Usher
It’s blowing up a storm, and a boy and his grandad decide it’s the perfect weather for kite-flying. There’s just one problem – first they have to find the kite. Their search brings up lots of wonderful memories of previous adventures together, but when they finally make it outside, their adventure really takes off!
Storm by Sam Usher is the final installment in the quartet of seasonal books which highlight the special relationship a boy has with his grandfather, as well as beautifully depicting the changing weather and landscapes around us. In this book, it's blowing a gale and the boy and his grandfather decide that it's perfect kite-flying weather! (Now personally I think it's a don't try this at home sort of story as it's far too stormy to actually fly a kite but we will let this book have some artistic license because it makes for a wonderful and atmospheric story.) But, of course, they can't find the kite. Isn't this always the way? As they search through the cupboards for their beloved kite, they happen across a whole cacophony of items that allow them to reminisce of wonderful memories of their days out together and the special bond that they have. And each page of the search is interspersed with the increasingly stormy weather developing outside, including a rather hilarious elderly gent who gets more and more swept up by the storm! When they do eventually find their kite and make it outside, they have their best adventure yet. So much so that they actually take flight! The magic of this book, for me, comes from the incredibly dramatic illustrations of the stormy weather, so much so that as you gaze at the pictures you can almost hear the wind blowing (or perhaps that's just me because it's blowing a gale here as I type). The colour-palette of the greys of the sky is truly perfect when set in contrast against the bright rainbow of kites that tear across it in the breeze. The selection of autumnal leaves which swirl on each page are crafted so beautifully you can feel their movement. This book really is a wonder! * BookBairn * Previous titles in the series include Rain, Sun and Snow, and the children all knew why I had chosen the book for this week - they talked excitedly about the recent rain and strong winds and how the leaves were falling from the trees. One of the most popular activities at playtime recently has been gathering mounds of multi-coloured leaves and pretending they are mountains to dominate and explore. The children loved the evocative language used in the book when describing the wind - 'blustered and blew', 'huffed and 'howled' and 'whistled and whooshed'. Not only do these words sound perfect for the noise the wind makes, but their onomatopeic nature inspired the children to have a go at making the sounds themselves. The illustrations complement the words perfectly, with the windy scenes in particular creating a sense not just of movement but whirling, natural chaos. My young audience was particularly captivated by the kite-flying scenes, calling out all the shapes and sizes, from a Chinese dragon to a massive whale. We talked about times when we'd flown a kite (most of my experiences have not been impressive!) and then, during library lunchtime, we decorated kite shapes as an activity. This is a delightful story that not only makes us think about the weather but also how different family members can have fun together. A great book for everyone, but especially a boy to share with his fun-loving grandfather. * Childtastic Books * Storm is the fourth in a series of books from writer and illustrator Sam Usher which follow a young boy and the adventures he has with his grandad in the snow, rain, sun and now, a storm. Every book starts in the same way; the boy wakes up, looks out of his window and discovers something exciting.Full of enthusiasm he races to find his grandad, desperate to have an adventure. He just can't decide what to do, but grandad knows that a windy day is the best day to fly a kite of course. They search the house high and low for the kite and there are some beautifully touching moments where they find items they used in their previous adventures and reminisce.There's so much excitement in getting everything perfect that the boy and his grandad are always slightly delayed in getting out to experience the extreme weather. During this time the weather becomes more dramatic than ever with lively illustrations of what's going on just outside the front door.When they're finally ready they step out and the adventures can really begin. These books build up the action so gently from what is a normal activity to a crescendo that breaks the barrier between real life and imagination. One minute they are flying their kites on a blustery hill and the next they are really flying, swooping amongst the clouds with fantastical kite creatures.The bond between grandchild and grandparent is truly special and these two capture the essence of it perfectly. Sam Usher's watercolour illustrations are wonderfully grand but also tender and full of affection. All the books leave you feeling warm and snug, which is exactly what you need on a stormy autumn day. * Acorn Books * Written and illustrated by Sam Usher and published by Templar Publishing, STORM is the fourth and final instalment in a beautiful seasonal series of books, which celebrate the special relationship between a little boy and his grandad.As we had previously read RAIN, SUN and SNOW, we were very much looking forward to finding out what new adventure STORM would bring. It is a real delight to share another joy-filled day with this imaginative duo. As they search for their kite, we gain a glimpse of adventures past: a game of cricket, a boat trip and a visit to a secret cave! Then when they do eventually locate the kite, we join them on yet another fun-filled trip to the park. This heartwarming story is completed by Sam Usher's timeless and atmospheric illustrations. The way in which he captures the wildness of the weather outside, and contrasts it with the comforting memories the pair find within the house, is very special indeed. As too is his level of detail and his ability to create expression and movement on the page. All the images are beautiful but the double spreads are particularly wonderful! STORM may be the final book in the series but it is definitely our favourite and it is perfect for curling up under a blanket and reading this Autumn. * Along Came Polly * Storm is part of a series of fictional books that are based around seasons. The other titles in the series are, Snow, Rain and Sun. Storm celebrates a loving and respectful relationship between a grandfather and his grandson as shown in the previous books. It's wonderful to meet the familiar characters again and witness natural conversations between the two of them. It's proving to be a windy day in the story and the young boy is excited at the prospect of exploring the outdoors. His granddad suggests flying a kite but they need to find it first. As they search all over the house they each find different items. The various items they find are representative of wonderful memories that will also remind readers of adventures they've read about from Sam Usher's previous books.Thankfully the kite is found and off they go on their outdoor adventure. They aren't the only ones who thought to fly a kite on such a windy day. As the wind becomes stronger they both swoop and fly with the kite but with the weather becoming more intense they, thankfully, land safely and head home.Sam Usher does a brilliant job at creating interesting, dramatic illustrations with a sprinkle of magic. His colourful artwork so wonderfully captures the delightful colours found during autumn time and the sense of movement and wind blustering outside is so realistic. The format of the story is similar to previous books written but the familiarity in its structure will be welcomed by young readers. The simple storyline makes this a great book to be enjoyed by preschoolers and up, who I am sure will also be in awe of the gorgeously detailed illustrations. * Mamma Filza * The fourth of Sam Usher's series of picture books about a little boy and his grandfather continues to celebrate their special relationship. It's a very blustery autumn morning and when the little boy wakes up he sees leaves flying, dancing and tumbling down. Eager to get outside, he calls his Grandad who suggests flying a kite. First though they have to find it. During their search they rediscover several items - a cricket bat, letters and a telescope that bring back memories of previous adventures - until finally, they find the kite. Off they set under a stormy-looking sky to the parkwhere they discover lots of other kite fliers. "Hold on tight," calls Grandad as their fantasy adventure begins. Up, up, up they go swooping and twisting as the sky is filled with an amazing, colourful array of kites of all different shapes and patterns. The wind intensifies and the boy lets go of the kite string. Luckily though, Grandad catches it "There's a storm brewing!Let's head for home," he urges and they do. Back indoors, as the storm rages outside, they share some tea and Grandad declares, "The best adventure is an adventure shared." And so it is, just like the one herein: what better prelude to a kite-flying foray than this. With russet, gold, orange and brown hues, and a darkening grey, Sam Usher's watercolour and ink illustrations capture so well both the trees' autumnal foliage and the brooding nature of the storm. * Red Reading Hub * Sam Usher's Storm is a great book to inspire children to go outside and have an autumn adventure. We've already met the boy and his grandad in Rain, Sun and Snow and we love the way that their relationship and adventures harness the power of imagination and lead them outside to have fun.The Story: It's a windy autumn day and a boy and his grandad are looking for their kite. They reminisce as they discover objects from previous adventures but before long Grandad and the boy are having fun flying through the air along with a host of other kite flyers. But there's a storm brewing - can they make it home before it arrives?The boy has several ideas for windy day activities including our favourite - kicking up leaves - but it is Grandad who suggests kite flying. The calm inside the house as they look for their kite contrasts with the weather outside. The alliterative text is brilliant, we love 'blustered and blew' and 'whirled and whooshed', and combined with swirling leaves in the illustrations you are blown away as your read. Scarves blow sideways and the boy and his Grandad hold onto their hats as they finally step out of the iconic red front door, dressed almost identically, to start their adventure. The boy and his grandad share a wonderfully strong bond, the story is a really lovely portrayal of family members from two different generations having fun together. We love the way that they immerse themselves in their adventure and the double page spreads showing them flying their kite are gorgeous.The boy also shares his adventure with the toy that was lying on his bed at the beginning of the story. The dragon mask (which has a tail like another of Sam's picture book characters, Sassoon) becomes a kite and at one point Grandad and the boy ride on its back. The flying scenes are wonderfully busy with a colourful array of kites and children in stripy jumpers. It's amazing that the strings don't get tangled together but that's the beauty of this adventure, reality and fantasy are blurred together as the boy and his grandad's imaginations take over. * Story Snug *
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?