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The Rainbabies Paperback – March 16, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (March 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688151132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688151133
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.4 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At a time when many supposedly new titles turn out to be retellings of familiar fairy tales, it's invigorating to find real creativity at work. In a stunning debut, Melmed combines standard fairy tale devices (a wish granted by magic; a series of trials to prove worthiness; virtue rewarded, etc.) in a wholly original story featuring the most fetching cast of little ones since the Dionne quintuplets. Melmed's writing is flawless, her storyline clean and unaffected: a childless couple finds a dozen tiny rainbabies in the grass after a moonshower, takes them home and tenderly cares for them until the babies' real mother arrives to claim her offspring and reward the devoted husband and wife. LaMarche's (Mandy) paintings are equally masterful. Whether portraying the couple's delight with their unexpected charges, or pecking in at the row of sleeping wee ones nestled snugly in a drawer, the artist's transcendent watercolors glow with a warm inner light that comes as much from the heart as from the brush. A winner in every respect, this genuinely touching book is guaranteed to become a favorite. Ages 6-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-- Touched by the good fortune of a moonshower, a childless old couple finds a dozen tiny babies in the grass outside their small house. They take the infants into their home, lovingly care for them, protect them from ``. . . dangers born of water, fire, and earth,'' and refuse to trade them for a valuable jewel. For this they are rewarded, by Mother Moonshower herself, with a real baby girl in exchange for the tiny rainbabies. The story, written in a pleasing folktale style, is not nearly as exciting as LaMarche's large, handsome illustrations. Painted in rich, muted tones that exude feelings of warmth and love, the textured pictures resemble pastel drawings. Portraits of the couple (who actually appear to be upper-middle aged) expose their characters in a style that is reminiscent of Norman Rockwell's. Alas, neither the pleasant writing style nor the beauty of the illustrations can compensate for the story's weak plot. The book is auditorily and visually pleasing, but lacks depth and purpose. --Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This is one of their all time favorite childhood books.
Vicki Callahan
She loved the story of the Rainbabies and Mother Moonshower.
Park-Avenue Princess
The story is beautiful and the illustrations are terrific.
Al Maginnes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Park-Avenue Princess VINE VOICE on January 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderfully written book. A gorgeous story with beautiful illustrations. I gave this book as a gift to a friend of mine going through IVF. She loved the story of the Rainbabies and Mother Moonshower.

The Rainbabies is a delightful book about an older couple that have everything but the one thing that they desire more than anything in the world, a child. One night after a rainstorm, they find twelve little babies in the grass and they take such wonderful care of them. So much so that Mother moonshower comes and gives them a "real" daughter of their own. They feel complete and full of love.

I couldn't stop crying the first time I read this book. I have had cancer and because of my chemo was told that I may never have children. It hit home to know that you can have everything in the world, but feel like you have nothing if you don't have the love of a child. At first I felt robbed of this love. But I also understand that there must be a reason why. This is still my favorite book to pull out and read when I'm feeling a little bit lonely.

This story is tender and sweet. You'll love it with all your heart.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The Rainbabies reads like a classical fairy tale, with the all the heft of a cross-generational standard. But you haven't heard this story before, and the setting is quietly and peacefully timely and contemporary. Illustrator Jim Lamarche makes this point with frequent visual references to the present, yet his fluid style, reminscent at times of the great master N.C. Wyeth, not only enhances the narrative, but ensures its classic feel. There is no tragedy here, only magic, and I was as entranced by the story were as my eight and six-year-old daughters. An aging couple, content in all respects except for their childlessness, find twelve tiny babies in the grass following a moonshower. They take the babies in and raise them carefully, rising to the challenge of several near-disasters that threaten the lives of their young charges. Their devotion to the children is palpable, and this helps to calm the reader's vague sense of unease over the cause of the tiny infants' frequent peril. Surely everything will be all right. Or will it? It's a neat twist. You're not sure where this is going, and the hint of impending doom (as if Lamarche's illustrations are not enough) creates a gem of a page-turner. Finally, the old man and woman are rewarded for their single-minded commitment, and the happily-ever-after denouement settles over the last page like a warm smile. Lamarche's closing illustration is a memorable image, a fairy tale in itself, a picure of such contentment that only the most jaded reader will fail to grow wistful for simpler times and simpler pleasures. The Rainbabies is a keeper -- a curl-up-in-the-chair-with-the-kids kind of book that is likely to grow worn and dog-eared from long and frequent use.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Linda Jones on February 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I didn't realize till later, that the rainbabies represent the months of the year, which is why their mother is the moon mother. The moon creates the months of the year. And also why there are 12 of them, one to represent each month of the year. They never really left the elderly couple, they just bacame something else. At least this is what I tell my granddaughter when we are through reading the book.

I didn't look at this as an adoption book but more of a babysitting book. It respected the deep bond of the true mother of the rainbabies, and it was right for them to return to her. I look at this as a way to confirm that when my child goes out in the world, she can always come home to me, because my relationship to her is a sacred one. And when we watch over the children of others, it is our responsibility to protect them as if they were our own. I'm glad to find a book that supports this value, because I see it so lacking in the opinions of so many caretakers of other people's children. Every child is sacred, regardless of whether it is your own, or someone elses, and we have a responsibility to look out for all children. That is a sacred responsibility.

This theme has been coming up a lot in my granddaughter's play, since reading this story to her. So I bought 12 of the smallest little baby dolls I could find and made little felt blankets for each one, and my granddaughter has her dolls "babysit" them until the Moonmother can come to get them.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa A. Lappen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This heartwarming story begins in a plain enough fashion. An older couple live a lively and productive farm life, but long for children they cannot have.
Then the magic begins. One March night, rain pattering on their roof arouses the woman. "Wake up, old man, I've heard the moonshower brings good fortune to everyone it touches!" They go out and stand in the rain. There, in the grass and wildflowers are shining drops of water, each holding a baby.
The couple care diligently for their found little poems. They carry their babies in a willow basket while they do their chores, saving them from several near-disasters--a sudden storm, a weasel, and lightening-set fire. The babies sleep in a dresser drawer, covered gently by a scarf.
One night a man arrives, placing on their table a basket of silvery twigs filled with tiny pearls. He offers them an enormous jewel for their babies. "Thank you," says the woman, "but the babies will stay with us." The man transforms into Mother Moonshower, who must take her babies home. "You musn't," cries the woman. The woman kisses her sleeping rainbabies goodbye and they disappear.
But not before Mother Moonshower gives them, in the rainbabies' place, an infant girl. Rayna grows stronger and more lovely each year, and the couple feel their happiness complete.
Few if any children were ever adopted this way. But those adopted more normally adore this story, which helps them see how love alone makes families real. The tale also makes them comfortable with their own magical difference. Alyssa A. Lappen
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