On the first day of spring, Jazmin flipped out of bed.
She twirled her baton.
She swirled in her new red suit.
Today was the day of her big parade!
But then the clouds crowd in.
The sky darkens.
And the rain begins...
SLAP clatter clatter SLAP SLAP!
Can Jazmin use her mighty baton to save the day?
The Rain Stomper, ages 4-8
Winner, 2009 Oregon Spirit Award
What KIDS are saying:
"I liked the part where she stomped higher and higher. I love your story. It was the best I've ever read. You should write more books." --from Taylor
"The Rain Stomper had so many onomatopoeias. I liked the part of the story where all the people kept coming outside and how they kept flooding the streets. I am a really good rain stomper." -- 2nd grader
What ADULTS are saying:
"A delightful read-aloud that deals with making the best of a disappointing situation." -- School Library Journal, September 2008
"The exhilaration of the storm is at the center of Boswell’s debut picture book, and illustrator Velasquez is at his best in the dynamic unframed spreads. Together, the words and pictures nicely express Jazmin’s anger and energy, and her splashing action will have young preschoolers shouting along." – Booklist, September 2008
Story Behind the Rain Stomper:
I wrote the first draft of The Rain Stomper when I was staying in a run-down apartment in Washington, D.C. It was raining. The skies were gray and the buildings were gray and the newspapers turned to mush and the mush filled up the gutters. We all got wet waiting for the bus, and the whole city seemed grumpy. Then I noticed that the walls of my room were leaking, and the carpet was getting wet. So I moved my boxes into the center of the room and sat down on the floor. Now I was not only grumpy, I was starting to feel frustrated. In this state of mind, I pulled out my journal and scribbled the first draft of The Rain Stomper.
The story is partly true and partly made up, as most stories are. The main character is based on a real girl named Jazmyn, an art student I once taught. I spent six years editing The Rain Stomper with three different critique groups before publisher Marshall Cavendish bought my story. They paired me up with award-winning illustrator Eric Velasquez. I didn't tell Eric what the real Jazmyn looked like (in fact, I didn't even meet him!) But the pictures he made are surprisingly similar to the girl I remember. The Rain Stomper spent another two years in production, and the printed books were finally shipped from China to bookstores near you!
Here is Eric's first character sketch and drawings from the first two book "dummies," which were done in pencil and charcoal before the oil paintings.