Stories for rain
The classic picture book, Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain, takes on a topic close to all our hearts: hot dry weather and clouds that don’t release rain. Verna Aardema tells the Nandi folktale of the clever cowherd Ki-Pat, and his solution to the problem. Based on “This is the House that Jack Built,” and beautifully illustrated by Beatriz Vidal, this is a wonderful book to read aloud.
In the very funny Heat Wave at Mud Flat by James Stevenson, the miserably hot animals try everything from sharing memories of snow to visiting the ice cream man. Nothing cools them off. Then a smooth-talking lizard shows up, calling himself Raymond the Rainmaker. Can he help?
Tall-tale hero Febold Feboldson is the first and only settler in Nebraska. No one else can stand the weather, but Febold has it figured out. When the driest year in memory comes along, all he needs is a bucket of water and a frog. Read about his dealings with drought, flood, blizzards, and cyclones in Febold Feboldson, an early reader by Ariane Dewey.
Matt Phelan’s graphic novel, The Storm in the Barn, is for older independent readers. Eleven-year-old Jack Clark’s already difficult life takes a turn for the weird when he sees a mysterious stranger in the barn, a stranger whose face “looks like rain.” Illustrations in shades of brown and gray bring the Dust Bowl of the 1930s to life.
Another rainmaker comes to town in Dust by Arthur Slade. Abram Harsich will make rain, but the price is tragically high. The vast Saskatchewan prairies provide an eerie setting for an unsettling story.
Ready for a celebration? Revisit a favorite, Peter Spier’s Rain. The detailed illustrations invite readers to join a brother and sister in a joyful exploration of earth’s loveliest natural phenomenon: pure, refreshing rain.
Check out these titles in the youth department at Saline District Library and, who knows, maybe reading the stories will bring the rain! For more information: www.salinelibrary.org.