Lynn: Here is a treasure for every classroom studying the water cycle! Raindrops Roll (2015), by April Pulley Sayre, is a visual gem that provides a close-up look at the action of raindrops.
The book opens by setting the stage: “Rain is coming. You can feel it in the air.” Each page has a gorgeous photograph, often full page, illustrating the actions of the raindrops. They gather, glob, slip, drip, and reflect. The photographs are of leaves, flowers, stems, insects, and creatures common to many gardens or backyards, each wonderfully chosen and breath-taking to linger over. The simple text has a poetic flow while using only a few words on each page. At the end of the book, Sayre provides “A Splash of Science,” which is a short paragraph explaining the science of the raindrop action shown in each picture. A treat for the eye and the mind.
“Rain is coming. You can feel it in the air.”
Cindy: Rainy days can bring odd adventures, as readers learn in Sandra Markle’s Toad Weather (2015). Children might look at the cover of this book and think they are in for another splash in a muddle puddle book about rain, but there’s a surprise waiting. A mother comes home and excitedly tells her daughter and her own mother that they need to put on their rain gear and come with her; she has a surprise. They are less than enthusiastic, but the mother keeps prodding them along and encouraging them to pay attention to the beauty around them…rainbow oil slick puddles, colorful umbrellas, and other delights if one pays attention. But the big surprise? A toad migration across a busy road with many volunteers helping to shepherd the toads safely across so they can make their way to ponds and reservoirs to mate.
An author’s note tells of the annual spring toad migration in a Philadelphia neighborhood and how volunteers are trained each year to assist in the event that happens on the first rainy night of the season. The pastel and colored-pencil drawings bring this rainy-night adventure to life with splashes of color and vivid details. Like frogs, we are creatures of habit. Three cheers for this book, which reminds us to open our eyes and take in the wonder around us, even when we are tempted to grumble about the circumstances.