Brief summary: Dot has lived on earth for about 4,5000,000,000 years and has seen and traveled all over the world. She has been in the ocean and up in the sky with her friends gathering to make clouds that turn electric. She goes back down to the earth as rain. She has also been hail and snow. There are times she lands on mountains or freezes and lands on a glacier for a long time. Sometimes she lands on a tree and slides down into the ground to the roots. She is never sure what her new adventure will be nor what form.
Comments: Cute personification of a rain drop goes through the water cycle in a fun and entertaining way for young readers. Interesting little facts for young readers.
A Sled for Gaboby Emma Otheguy; illustrated by Ana Ramirez Gonzalez. 2021. Illustrations were created digitally. Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
Brief summary: Gabo wakes to a snow covered world and children playing outside on a sled. He wants to go out and join them but he does not have wool socks to keep his feet warm or boots to keep them waterproofed. He just moved from a hot climate and has not played in the snow before now. Mami comes up with substitutes of several layers of cotton socks and plastic bags tied over his shoes.
Gabo goes next door to ask Senor Ramos if he has a sled he could borrow. He does not but his granddaughter, Isa, is visiting and encourages Gabo to play since they are the same age. Gabo is too shy and goes to play with Misifu, a cat.
Gabo’s tia arrives with a plastic cafeteria tray for him to use as a sled. Isa comes over now and they slide up and down the snowy hill until dusk when they go inside and share dulce de leche together.
Comments: Such a sweet story about a shy boy who learned to adapt and have fun while making a new friend. Gabo is bilingual and can speak to many neighbors and is one of those people who can play with animals as well as other kids. Gabo is able to adjust to a new habitat and culture, intertwining both worlds.
*Although this book was released in early January, I did not receive it from the public library until March. I still want to share this even though the season has passed, as I think it is a touching and important story that teaches how to stay positive and move forward.
Brief summary: A young boy overhears a grownup comparing feelings to weather and how both change. The boy concludes that crying is like the rain. He shares the different perspectives people have about crying and then relates how the weather can become imbalanced. He learns how feelings can be expressed and mindfully shared with others.
Comments: This book could be shared with students and young ones to help them be aware of the difference types of crying and how people may feel differently about the emotions that go with it.
Sections in the back are: Crying Really is Like the Rain, Weather Reports: A Mindfulness Game, Go to Deeper, and Words Have Power.
It should be noted that the author is a counselor and founder of Mindful Kids.
Brief summary: A young boy shares how much he loves swimming and only ice-cream can get him out of the water. His older sister warns him to make the most of it, as summer is going to end. He asks what happens after summer, and his sister tells him a dark tale about how fall will come and then winter. He decides there is nothing he can do about it and just has to wait for it to happen. When fall and winter do arrive, they are like his sister said but all in a positive way in which he enjoys the changing of the seasons.
Comments: What a great story to share about the coming of the fall and winter seasons and what happens. Students can see some of the negative and positive traits.
Rain Boy by Dylan Glynn; illustrated by Dylan Glynn. Watercolor, pastels, cut paper, and colored pencils. Published by Chronicle Books.
Brief summary: Wherever he goes, Rain Boy, a cloud that brings “wet,” cannot get anyone to like him. His classmate, Sun Kidd, is popular because wherever she goes, she brings sunshine. She has a birthday party and invites Rain Boy who makes everything wet. “Rain, Rain, go away,” the classmates shout. Rain Boy sadly causes a storm. He stays inside for months causing everything to be dark and rainy.
Sun Kidd was so upset, that she too stayed away from school. After a bit, the classmates began to see how the rain is actually beneficial. The flowers and trees grow. They play in the puddles. Rain Boy decides to go outside, and after awhile, Sun Kidd joins him showing they could coexist.
Comments: I like how the watercolors used to represent rain and sun helped set the mood of the story. The children changed their minds about their classmates by having more information that helped them see the benefits of both.
Almost Time by Gary D. Schmidt & Elizabeth Stickney; illustrated by G. Brian Karas. 2020. Pencil and digital color. Published by Clarion Books.
Brief summary: Ethan asks his father if it is sap running time yet after sitting down to eat pancakes that have applesauce instead of maple syrup. The week after, Ethan’s dad makes him corn bread but still no syrup. He keeps asking his father when it will be time. Each Sunday, Ethan gets another answer. The days finally warm up with more sunlight. It’s maple syrup season! Ethan helps his father boil the syrup and pour the thickened liquid into bottles. Pancakes with syrup at last.
Comments: Young readers can relate to looking forward to having pancakes with syrup for breakfast but keep getting everything else instead.
I would include this book in the how things are made unit.
The maple syrup season is when the days are around 40* and the nights are below freezing which are usually between mid February to mid March.
Red Sky at Nightby Elly MacKay; illustrated by Elly MacKay. 2018. Cutout paper drawings placed in dioramas and photographed. Published by Tundra.
Brief summary: This beautifully illustrated story is of a grandfather and his two young grandchildren looking outside to the sky to see if they can determine the weather for tomorrow’s fishing adventure. Weather-related sayings and idioms are shared as they enjoy the fishing trip, night of camping, and the next day.
Comments: I recognized some of the weather predicting sayings that I was taught as a child. These three-dimensional illustrations are gorgeous! The story is told with the illustrations. This definitely would be a Caldecott contender if Elly MacKay lived in the USA instead of Canada. Looking forward to more beautiful illustrations from this author/illustrator.
I would house this book in weather 551 or picture books.
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Home in the Rain by Bob Graham; illustrated by Bob Graham. 2016 (Walker Books Ltd; London, UK). 2017 (Candlewick Press Mass. USA). Ink and watercolors.
Brief summary: It is pouring rain as Francie and her pregnant mother leave Grandma’s house and drive away in a little red car. The window wipers are going back and forth with rain coming straight down as the car moves along the crowded highway. Francie notices the farmland on either side. Wildlife live on both sides of the highway up in the hills and along the coast. The car windows are fogging up. Francie writes her name on one window, Mom on another, and Dad on another with just one window left blank. Her mother pulls over so that they can eat lunch inside the car. Francie asks what her baby sister’s name will be so she add it to the back window. Her mother is not sure yet. They pull back into the traffic with the relentless rain still pelting the car. Her mother pulls into a gas station where there are several other cars and people. Francie splashes in a rainbow-colored puddle. Her mother realizes the name of the baby sister and gives Francie a big hug as they head back towards home now with the back window displaying the baby’s name.
Comments: I liked the quietness of this story that matched the quietness of the rain coming down. Although Bob Graham is Australian and the book was first published in the U.K. before making it to the US, there are no language differences that would hinder with the story and characters. This would be great to read aloud to young students during one of those days when it is raining all day.
(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program. Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library).
The Storm by Akiko Miyakoshi; illustrated by Akiko Miyakoshi. Originally printed in Japan 2009. 2016. Charcoal illustrations.
Brief summary: A school boy is told to go straight home after school, as there is a bad storm coming. The boy is upset because he wanted to go the beach with his family. The storm’s winds and rains come along with thunder and lightening causing him to hide under his blankets where he dreams of pushing the storm away. He wakes the next morning to a blue sky.
Comments: The whole book is done in grays matching the mood of the storm. The blue sky on the last page really popped. This would be a good read to students during the weather unit of study.