Exclusive behind-the-scenes sketches of Rain!

About Rain!

One rainy day in the city, an eager little boy exclaims, “Rain!” Across town a grumpy man grumbles, “Rain.” In this endearing picture book, a rainy-day cityscape comes to life in vibrant, cut-paper-style artwork. The boy in his green frog hat splashes in puddles—“Hoppy, hoppy, hoppy!”—while the old man curses the “dang puddles.” Can the boy’s natural exuberance (and perhaps a cookie) cheer up the grouchy gentleman and turn the day around?

“Altogether delightful.” —Kirkus, starred review

“Good and bad moods alike can be contagious, as this rainy-day story handily demonstrates.” —Publishers Weekly

“This will be ideal to share in late winter when everyone is suffering from the winter blues and needs a reminder to make the most of the gloom and gray.” —School Library Journal

Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Sketches

Illustrator Christian Robinson walks us through early sketches for his characters and how he created the final piece of art.


Character exploration mom: I like to start out by developing the characters in the story.


Character exploration Boy: In the beginning I’m more interested in getting a feel for who these characters are. What are their lives like outside of the story?


Character exploration Old Man: It’s fun to find way to tell a story visually, color is one of my favorite tools. Originally I thought the Old Man should be absent of color to really emphasize the lack of joy in his world. But didn’t want him to be misinterpreted as a ghost, so went with a pale flesh tone in the end.


Cover art development: Probably one of my favorite parts of illustrating books is cover design. composing images and words together with the goal of sharing a peak into the story can be a fun challenge.


First really rough sketches when starting out. Just looking to get sense of setting and composition.


Post-it Sketch: When it’s time to share my ideas with the art director and editor, I like to use post-it notes. The limited size helps me focus on the basics of how to tell the story as clear as possible, also I like being able to easily switch out sketches that aren’t working.


 Digital Color Exploration: Once the rough layout is approved I turn my attention to color and design. Working digitally at this stage really allows me to explore shape a color with out losing too much time.


Final Art—then I return to my drafting table and start painting and cutting out paper using an x-acto blade. The rain is painted separately then scanned into the computer and added on a separate layer.

Find out more about Rain! by Linda Ashman and Christian Robinson at the link below.