This is a wonderful book to share at a toddler or pre-school story time after a storm or for a weather themed story time. The story is written and illustrated by Nancy Tafuri who won a Caldecott Honor award for Have you seen My Duckling? Her animals are delightfully detailed and realistic.
The Big Storm is indeed a very soggy counting book. One by one, animals try to escape from the dark black clouds. Bird flies to the hill hollow. He is number one. He is followed by Mouse who is number two. Lightning starts to crack and Rabbit runs for cover making three animals seeking refuge together. Thunder starts to rumble and grumble – Woodchuck, Raccoon, Opossum and Red Fox all run for cover. The children at story time enjoyed calling out the various animal names. Finally the number ten animal joins them. It is skunk!
“10 Critters huddled together” are escaping from the storm. Suddenly there is a different Rumble and Grumble and they all realize at once that some other creatures are in the cave with them. Can you guess what they are?
The story is great for a large group reading as are her other books including The Very Busy Little Squirrel and Spots, Feathers and Curly Tails. A good enrichment activity addition for this book would be a little flannel board of the hill hollow and figures of the ten animals. The flannel board could be demonstrated as the story is told or demonstrated after the story is told.
Move Over, Rover by Karen Beaumont has a similar storyline with a very different surprise ending. You might consider programming them a week apart. Encourage the children to identify things that are the same or different.
Check the WRL catalog for The Big Storm: A Very Soggy Counting Book.