THE RHYTHM OF THE RAIN by Grahame Baker-Smith


Age Range: 4 - 7
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A small boy imagines the travels of water from a jar through steps of the water cycle and around the world.

When a rain shower interrupts Issac’s play, he empties a jar of water into a mountain pool. He runs downhill, following his water into a river that goes by his family home. Continuing in a small boat, he sails through an idealized countryside and a curiously empty city (the single human empties a bucket out a riverside window) as far as the ocean. The boat vanishes from the story as readers see the water encountering a whale, icebergs, ocean deeps, and a lightning storm. The water becomes mist, a cloud over faraway African countries, and life-giving rain. After one more cycle through the ocean, it finally becomes rain falling on Issac’s pool again. Watery digital paintings of a dreamlike landscape provide pictorial reinforcement. Issac appears white. The art is lovely, but the exposition is awkward in this British import. Readers will struggle with long sentences where the meaning is not immediately clear: “He followed them to the river that / ran past his home and then plunged down a waterfall.” There are factual errors. Whales don’t spout swallowed water through their blowholes; that’s warm air from their lungs. Water doesn’t rise from the ocean as steam; that’s vapor. For an equally child-friendly and more accurate account of this often described process, choose Miranda Paul and Jason Chin’s Water Is Water (2015).

This exploration of water just isn’t solid enough to merit purchase. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 20th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5362-0575-6
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Templar/Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2019


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