Rain, Rain, Come Again! Two Picture Books Celebrating the Pleasures of a Good Soaking

Cindy: No one likes a rainy day more than a young child who gets to splash in a puddle . . . or two. We have two books for young children that celebrate the pleasures of a good soaking. Even if you’re not eager to get wet, you can read these to a young rain lover and maybe their enthusiasm will rub off on you. Having just returned from a spring-break vacation to find Michigan covered in April snow, I’d be thrilled with rain!

In the Rain (2018), a board book by Elizabeth Spurr, author of In the Garden (2012), among other titles, features two-to-three-word sentences on each page with gentle rhymes. A young black girl dons her rain jacket, boots, and umbrella and heads outside with her dog as soon as the “clouds gather” and “rain pours.” From there, her day draws to mind Ezra Jack Keats’ A Snowy Day as she enjoys the small pleasures of playing in the elements: making and sailing a boat, stomping in puddles, and playing with mud pies. When the rain stops, her mother comes up with a way to continue the watery fun. Manelle Oliphant’s illustrations infuse the book with joy and colors to brighten a cloudy day.

Rain by Sam UsherLynn: Our second selection is a gorgeous picture book we fell in love with last year: Rain (2017) by Sam Usher. This celebration of the delights of playing in the rain starts on the cover, which features raised raindrops. This book, too, is for a young child and uses simple sentences spread across the large-format pages. The little boy here can’t wait to go outside and play in the rain but his grandfather, busy writing a letter, wants to wait until the downpour comes to an end. Sketches of the pair’s indoor activities contrast with two-page spreads in luminous watercolor. Finally, the rain stops and Grandpa, eager to mail his letter, is ready to venture outside—and their adventures begin when raindrops starts all over again. Clever details enhance the fun and the shimmering rainy scenes will leave readers yearning for spring showers.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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