The Picture Book Buzz

Hello, Rain! - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Over the years, I've had some wonderful experiences with rain storms. As a child watching lightning strike a tree in the front yard (from the window), a college student jumping through tons of puddles (letting off steam after finals), and playing with my kids on a beach in Hawaii (we were the only ones who stayed out - but we were already wet and the rain was 80 degrees).


Perhaps lately, there have been more adult grumbles of annoyance and worry over the snarled traffic, power outages, a flooded yard, etc. While I do appreciate the greenery and the freshness that rain storms bring, it's been a while - perhaps too long - since I've just enjoyed the rain. This beautiful book captures a child's joyful abandon of playing in the rain and watching how nature responds.


Hello, Rain!


Author: Kyo Maclear


Illustrator: Chris Turnham


Publisher: Chronicle Books (2021)


Ages: 3-5


Fiction/Poetry


Themes:

Rain, puddles, play, and the beauty of nature.


Synopsis:

A picture book celebrating all the reasons to love the rain! Flowers bloom in the garden. Umbrellas bloom on the streets. There are puddles for jumping and, later, a cozy home for hot chocolate and books.


• The ultimate rainy day read!

• Full of bright, eye-catching illustrations

• From international acclaimed writer Kyo Maclear and printmaker Chris Turnham


No matter what kind of weather you prefer, Hello, Rain! is a great reminder of the natural beauty all around us.


Opening Lines:

The air is full of waiting.

The sky is full of breeze.

The trees gust and billow.

All before it rains.


Rumble, rumble.

Distant thunder.

Rain is coming,

rain is coming.


What I LOVED about this book:

Anticipation builds as a child and her dog wait for a rain storm to arrive. As the rain begins a tune, "plink, plunk, plonk” on the roof, the pair quickly dress in rain gear and grab their favorite umbrella. Excited by the rain, they wonder, as "umbrellas bloom" about them and everyone rushes past, "why hurry when the sky is an adventure?"

Text © Kyo Maclear, 2021. Image © Chris Turnham, 2021.


Especially since, no matter how the rain falls, whether it's a "deluge...mizzle...[or] buckets," it all forms puddles! After joyfully splashing,

Text © Kyo Maclear, 2021. Image © Chris Turnham, 2021.


the girl and her dog launch paper, stick, and leaf boats through a "curbside waterfall." Which leads them into an exploration of a garden, where they discover how numerous animals and plants react to the rain. And enables Chris Turnham to put the reader into the POV of the rain cloud. This is such an amazing spread. I love how the rain drops draw you down into the garden beds and puddles.

Text © Kyo Maclear, 2021. Image © Chris Turnham, 2021.


Snuggled under a tree, the girl and her dog share a quiet, tender moment as the reader follows a raindrop's path down "a branch/a leaf/an apple/a rock/a blade of grass—/before reaching the ground." Sudden thunder and lightning chase them home to finish out the storm inside. Kyo Maclear's poetic text, full of alliteration, exciting vocabulary, and onomatopoeia, carries us through a celebratory adventure of rain to the rainbow and the explosion of life outdoors afterward. I love the sort of old-time postcard feel of the illustration's palette. It is an absolute treasure to read aloud and explore visually, whether on a rainy day or not. With an ending which hints at a potential sequel. This book is an ode to nature, especially rain, and encourages young and old to head outdoors on an adventure.


Resources:


- try a couple of umbrella crafts (https://artsycraftsymom.com/umbrella-crafts-for-kids/).

- what would your favorite umbrella look like?

- draw a picture, or write a story, about something you like to do when it rains.

- go out in the rain and play - Jump in and over puddles. Float a boat or race sticks in a stream. Find things that make fun sounds when the rain hits them.

- make a rain stick (https://buggyandbuddy.com/how-to-make-a-rainstick-instrument/)


If you missed it, be sure to check out Monday's joint interview with Chris Turnham and Kyo Maclear (here).


This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

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