Synopses & Reviews
Each brain finds its own special way -- that's the message in this delightful, colorful story by America's foremost expert on learning and childhood development.
Edward Hallowell, M.D., is a noted psychiatrist and teacher and a leading authority on attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. At many of his lectures worldwide he has read a story he wrote for children about how each person's brain is unique -- and it has resonated among the thousands of parents, teachers, and others who have heard it.
A Walk in the Rain with a Brain is the illustrated version of that story. In it, a little girl named Lucy is making her way down a rainy sidewalk when she spies, of all things, a brain -- Manfred, called Fred -- sitting forlornly in a puddle. The courtly cerebrum asks Lucy for help getting home, and as they walk along she worries that she's not smart enough. "Everyone's smart!" explains Fred. "You just need to find out at what!" Fred reassures her that each child learns and thinks differently -- and that every child has special talents.
Charming illustrations and a funny, whimsical story teach children to play and learn in order to find the strengths they have -- and a discussion guide at the end gives parents and educators the background support they need in order to help children understand and discover the sparkling individuality of their minds.
"Psychiatrist Hallowell (Driven to Distraction) attempts to impart a worthwhile if well-worn message in rhyming couplets. Unfortunately the story's hokey and jarring delivery significantly diminishes the impact of the moral, as does the garish artwork. Walking in the rain, Lucy encounters a bug-eyed creature who 'look[s] like a lump of cold smoke' and says, 'Hello, little girl, I'm a brain,/ And I'm stuck out here in the rain./ Manfred's my name, for short it's just Fred,/ And I fear that I've just lost my head.' As the two go in search of Fred's missing body part, the child asks the brain to make her smart and 'Fred said with a start,/ 'Everyone's smart!/ You just need to find out at what!' ' He then launches into a rambling tale about a brain named Complain who coined the word 'smart,' equating 'smart' with 'best.' Finally a brain called Tru counters Complain's claim, announcing, 'No brain is the best!/ .../ What we need to do is explore and find all our talents galore!' Just before an eerie scene in which Fred 'dive[s] into his head' to end the tale, he echoes this sentiment in equally vapid terms: 'No brain is the same, no brain is the best,/ Each brain finds its own special way.' Mayer's depiction of the brain characters does not differentiate among them, and the girl's nearly featureless face may creep out some youngsters. His sterile compositions do little to enliven the narrative. Ages 4-8." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., is a child and adult psychiatrist, the director of the Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health in Concord, Massachusetts, and a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School. He is the coauthor of the national bestseller on attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Driven to Distraction, and the author of a number of other important works, including The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, Connect, Answers to Distraction, and When You Worry About the Child You Love, which was named best book of the year on child development by Child magazine. A graduate of Harvard and Tulane University School of Medicine, he lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, with his wife and three children.