Updated: Jul 18, 2022
Go away? Or come and stay?
That rather depends on various conditions. We can't survive without rain, but like many good things, too much of it, well, too much can be problematic. But still, appreciation is merited.
We've had a great deal of rain this spring and summer in my habitat ... so, a post about rain and some rainy day kids' books seems like a good idea, especially as rainy days are excellent days (and stormy nights wonderful nights) for loafing around with a good book.
Rain is a form of precipitation, in which water falls from the sky to earth's surface in some form, and precipitation of any type is an essential part of something called the water cycle. You can find many illustrations of the water cycle online, but here's a simple one from NASA.gov:
Water and air, both key components of life on Earth, just keep cycling, their chemical composition changing and renewing and moving around. That's why you sometimes hear that you drink the same water and breathe the same air as the dinosaurs (who lived long, long ago and occupied Earth for about 165 million years, way longer than we humans have called the planet home). But I digress ...
Rain. As a child, the movie Bambi often upset me, but to this day, I find myself hearing echoes of its song "Little April Shower" when the rain comes, particularly in the spring. (I've also compared no few dogs' leg- and tail-thumping habits to the esteemed Thumper.) Disney did some things brilliantly, and that song scene was one, in my opinion.
Rain. Shower. Drizzle. Mizzle. Sprinkle. Deluge. Downpour. Cloudburst. Gusher. Scud. Spit. A light mist. A sudden squall or storm. A monsoon (in some parts of the world). A torrent! A tempest! A sleet, when icy. A sheet even ... Rain pours and pools and puddles and pitters and patters and floods and so much more ... It's musical and whimsical and bone-chilling and pants-sticking and shoes-sloshing and face-streaming and even, sometimes, blinding and terrifying. It can be life-giver and destructor.
Nice resume, huh?
My kids and I have spent many a day hiking and creeking and dancing and otherwise frolicking in the rain, but we've spent many days hiding and watching and listening and inside-playing, too. So, if like me and us, you are out and about or homebound in the rain, if you are sometimes enamored and other times annoyed, inspired or frightened, perhaps you might enjoy some of our favorite rainy day and stormy night picture books.
My top rainy day recommendations are all about rainy day imagination. First, new from Lantana Publishing, is Sunday Rain, by Rosie J. Pova and Amariah Rauscher. A timeless tale of the elements and friendship, its lyrical words and soft illustrations dare any child (young and old) not to venture forth into the rain, some time, some where.
Rain, by Sam Usher, has a similar theme just as beautifully illustrated. Part of a series of weather-related books, Rain invites you to join a grandson and his grandfather on a bit of rainy day boredom and frustration turned adventure of their own. And if it's not quite wet enough for you, check out another in Usher's series, Storm! (I just noticed a book of his that I haven't seen before, Wild, so ... guess what I'm checking out next?!)
Haven't had enough? This one's harder to find these days, but years ago, my first-born, Ori, loved Usborne's The Rainy Day, by Anna Milbourne and Sarah Gill, a splish-sploshy tale about getting out and enjoying the wet. And lo! Usborne now has a rainy day puzzle book, too! And a lift-the-flap titled What Makes It Rain? Bet you can find more if you look ... Also, Milbourne and Gill produced similar titles about sun, wind and snow.
But that's not all! Oh, no, that's not all ... More favorites that make for essential rainy day reading are the sound sensations Tap Tap Boom Boom, by Elizabeth Bluemle and G. Brian Karas, and Watersong, by Tim McCanna and Richard Smythe. ("Huzzah!" for onomatopoeia, rain style!) Also, the actual song, Singing in the Rain, gorgeously illustrated (like his other song books) by Tim Hopgood. If you need a stormier but just as delightfully musical celebration in word and art? Storm Song by Nancy Viau.
It's sooooo hard to stop posting individual books, but alas, I must. I will call out two more titles and then leave with a link to my selection of rainy day kid reads on Bookshop.org. The next two provide delightful explorations of the rain, with some deeper meaning: Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and David Litchfield, whose message and illustrations each stand alone but go brilliantly together, and The Big Umbrella, by Amy June Bates and Juniper Bates, about always making room ... Check 'em out. You won't be sorry.
Wait! One more! A funny animal one ... Soaked!, by Abi Cushman, because sometimes, you just gotta get soaked ... with a bear ... and a badger ... and ... more onomatopoeia?
Aaaand here's the promised link to many more rainy day and stormy night books, including a few nonfiction and fictionalized water cycle titles.
Finally, please enjoy a rainy day poem from Robert Louis Stevenson, which you can find with other beloved children's poems in his collection A Children's Garden of Verses.
Now, go make a splash!