It Was Supposed to Be Sunny by Samantha Cotterill (9780525553472)
Leila’s birthday was planned to be an outdoor celebration until the storm hit and it had to be moved inside. Leila doesn’t deal well with changes, but with the support of her mother and her service dog, she manages to rethink the day more than once! They will still have the Wish Jar rather than singing Happy Birthday, a sparkly craft to replace balloons, and extra icing on the cake. The unicorn races moved to an indoor course and were still lots of fun. Until…a crash happened and the cake ended up on the floor. Now the schedule is ruined and Leila takes a break with her dog. After the break, it is Leila who comes up with the solution to continue the birthday party even without cake to share.
Another in the Little Senses series, this book is particularly designed to reflect the experience of children on the autism spectrum as well as those with sensory processing issues. Cotterill’s text is simple and pace of the story is fast. This helps with understanding Leila’s reactions as she is hit multiple times with big changes to her plans. She also demonstrates how to use techniques and support to face change, to remind herself that it turned out alright in previous experiences, and to find a new and positive way forward.
The art is friendly and bright, showing characters of various races and featuring a Black child and mother at its center. Leila’s emotions can be read easily in the images, showing her excitement, worry, sadness and happiness in turns.
Another winner in a series that speaks to so many children. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from copy provided by Dial Books for Young Readers.