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COME ON, RAIN! by Karen Hesse


by Karen Hesse & illustrated by Jon J Muth

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-590-33125-6
Publisher: Scholastic

Hesse (Just Juice, p. 1600, etc.) hits some high notes in this story of parched summer days in the city. Young Tess watches as her mother tends to her woeful wilting vegetable patch; the heat is enveloping. Tess, from her perch on the fire escape, scans the sky in hopes of deliverance, and sure enough, those are rain clouds she spies. When the clouds break, everyone steps joyfully to the rain dance. Hesse’s language is a quiet, elegant surge--“ ‘Rain’s coming, Mamma,’ I say. Mamma turns to the window and sniffs. ‘It’s about time,’ she murmurs,” but it can become ornate (“trinkets of silver rain” and music that “streaks like night lightning”) and jarring amid the contained beauty of the rest of the writing. Muth contributes fine watercolor atmospherics, in sultry summer scenes where the heat is almost palpable, and raucous wet scenes of jubilant dancers. (Picture book. 4-8)