Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rainy Day Books

"April showers bring May flowers."

Emmy and I have been so excited for Spring to arrive and we are happy to announce that it is HERE! Our walks to and from school are full of the sights and smells of this beautiful season. We've noticed buds on the trees, sprouts coming out of the ground, birds singing their wonderful songs and grass turning green.

Today's walk was a splashing good time as the rain came down. Emmy was delighted to wear her rain gear. She stomped in the puddles and twirled her umbrella. Emmy noticed how the raindrops created rings in the puddles just like when she throws a rock into the pond. We stopped and closed our eyes and listened to the sounds that the rain made. Emmy happily announced that the rain had many different languages. Here are a few of her examples, pitter-patter, splish-splash, drip-drop, drizzle-drizzle, whoosh-whoosh and ssssplosh!

Emmy had many questions about rain and to help answer these questions I searched our house for all the books I could find that had to do with rain. We have several great ones to share with you starting with Emmy's favorite.

The Rain Came Down, written and illustrated by David Shannon, really shows how the weather can affect people's mood. The rain is the cause for many noisy events beginning with the squawking of the chickens.

"On Saturday morning,
the rain came down.
It made the chickens squawk.
The cat yowled at the chickens,
and the dog barked at the cat.
And still, the rain came down."

These noisy events continue until complete chaos reigns. "What is all this ruckus about?" And then the rain stopped! And with the rain went the noise. The sun came out and one by one each character ends up smiling and helping someone else.

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema with pictures by Beatriz Vidal - a cumulative rhyming tale (think The House That Jack Built) set in Africa. Emmy loves how the main character, Ki-Pat, solves the problem of the drought. She also likes to stand just like him "on one leg like the big stork bird."

This is the Rain by Lola M. Schaefer and illustrated by Jane Wattenberg - also a cumulative story told in rhyme that simply explains the water cycle. Illustrations are vivid with a mix of real photographs and computer generated images. Emmy loves the last page where she giggles at the sight of seahorses, birds and even a dinosaur holding umbrellas!

Who Likes Rain by Wong Herbert Yee - We are such big fans of Yee. His illustrations are soft, gentle and gorgeous! In this story a young girl explores the rain by asking riddling questions such as, "When it rains, Who's the first to scat? I know! Do you? Mew, mew . . . It's the cat!" Emmy says, "This is a delightful book Mommy!" See what we have to say about Yee's book Tracks in the Snow here.

Rain by David Bennett with pictures by Rosalinda Kightley is part of the Bear Facts series which invites young readers to discover the wonders of science and nature. In Rain, the water cycle is explained with the help of an adorable bear with an umbrella. Emmy wanted to read the pages about lightning and thunder over and over again.

The Kids' Book of Clouds & Sky written and photographed by Frank Staub - a beautifully photographed resource book that answers many questions that children have about clouds and the sky. For example, What is the sky made of? What are clouds? What causes rain and snow? Where does the wind come from? Why is the moon white, and Why does it look so big? Emmy sat and looked at the pictures in this book for a very long time.

After our long reading and snuggling session, Emmy and I enjoyed acting like rain. We moved like raindrops and did the water cycle dance! The best time was creating our own rainstorm using our hands and feet. Here's how we did it:

To make the sound of rain, first rub your hands together slowly and then a bit faster. Next snap your fingers (or clap) going a bit faster. Now slap your thighs and go faster and faster. Next stomp your feet even faster and give a jump for thunder! When you're ready slow it all down repeating the steps backwards - stomping feet, slapping thighs, snapping fingers (or clapping hands), rubbing hands - going slower with each movement until there is silence. Now you give it a try!

I have mentioned before that I am a big fan of "old" song and dance movies so I was sure to show Emmy the ultimate rain dance starring Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain (1952). She loved it. Tomorrow we will be swinging from the lamp posts!!!

To end this post, please enjoy a poem from Emmy's
favorite poet of the moment - Shel Silverstein!

I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed in my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.

I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can't do a handstand--
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said--
I'm just not the same since there's rain my head.


  1. Thanks, Kel! Rainy days are the best days to just cuddle and read! I visited your blog and love your reviews. Thanks for stopping by Emmy's Book of the Day!!

  2. Wow, this is a great post! And it's so appropriate for us, even though we are in Australia and it is Autumn, it has been raining non-stop for weeks! I just found your blog through the Kidlit Carnival and I love it! =)

  3. Hi Liz! I'm so glad you found us. I just read through your blog and am excited to read more of your reviews. Hope the sun is shining today! Please keep in touch.