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Rain Play Hardcover – April 1, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2—A rainstorm disrupts a group of children. Some scatter, some stay and play. It's fun until the lightning and thunder begin. Then the remaining kids make a run for dad's car. The rest of the storm is waited out at home. The text is written in rhythmic two-line rhymes: "See the breeze/toss the trees./Plip, plop./Drip, drop." Though there's not much of a story here, the illustrations make the rainstorm an event. Steptoe's cut-paper collages are filled with texture and motion. Facial features rendered in paint show the joy that the youngsters feel when the cool rain starts coming down and their relief at being indoors, warm and dry. These African-American kids exuberantly jump, splash, run, and puddle-stomp all around the playground. The pictures are so lively that they may inspire readers to try this simple pastime.—Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI
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From Booklist

For kids, a rainy day can be pure play, and this exuberant rhyming poem and buoyant illustrations testify to that. “At the park the sky grows dark. / See the breeze toss the trees. Plip, plop. Drip, drop.” As raindrops splatter, most of the people scatter while others linger as they respond to the refreshing coolness: “Running, Romping, Puddle Stomping.” The succinct verse opens a watergate for Steptoe’s cut-paper-and-paint collages to express a variety of sensations in a fresh-as-rain style. The backgrounds of textured papers stream across the spreads in watery colors as the distinctive African American faces in shades of brown and umber reflect differing emotions and provide the drama. The look here is the flip side of the tissue collages in Steptoe and Karen English’s A Hot Day on Abbott Avenue (2004). Use these together in a story hour about the way weather affects a day. Preschool-Grade 2. --Julie Cummins
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Lexile Measure: 20L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805067957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805067958
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.3 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #479,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was working the reference desk of the library one day when a boy that couldn't have been more than seven-years-old came up to me. He had that deadly serious look to his face that kids sometimes get when they want to impress upon you the importance of their request. Very politely he asked me for every single Javaka Steptoe book we had in the collection. I have to admit that I was a little surprised. We pretty much have all the man's books, but when a kid requests an author or artist by name it tends to be pretty rote. Eric Carle or Mo Willems or Ezra Jack Keats. Even then, kids as young as seven usually ask for characters, not artists, so right off the bat I was impressed. I quickly yanked all the books off the shelf and handed them to the kid, wondering if maybe his parent had put him up to asking in the first place. But nope. That child sat down and inspected every single Javaka Steptoe book like they were the most precious possession he'd ever had the honor to handle. I like to think back to that kid sometimes whenever a new Steptoe book gets published, and I thought of it again recently when I picked up "Rain Play" by Cynthia Cotton. It's a very brief, very simple rhyming tale of kids caught in a summer storm, and with Mr. Steptoe's accompanying text it may well be a big hit with anyone who has ever done a dance in a drenching downpour or two.

On a warm summer day a bunch of kids hang out in a playground. "At the park / the sky grows dark." Soon raindrops are falling and a lot of people take off. "Raindrops splatter / People scatter / But we stay / awhile and play." Rain games and splashing commence for some, while others are content to capture the droplets in the curve of a single leaf. It isn't until the lightning starts to flash that everyone takes off for the waiting car.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Sack VINE VOICE on June 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
a group of kids are gathered in the park. A sudden rain shower comes up but the kids play on. They find all sorts of fun games to play! Their fun is over when lightening and thunder drive them home!

this book was just the right length for my 3 year old to enjoy.

The story could be used as a spring borad to discuss weather safety.
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By Washinton, D.C. mom on November 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book we borrowed from our local library. My daughter loved it so much that we bought the book.
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