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RAIN DANCE by Kathi Appelt


by Kathi Appelt & illustrated by Emilie Chollat

Age Range: 1 - 4

Pub Date: May 31st, 2001
ISBN: 0-694-01291-2
Publisher: HarperCollins

A collection of farmyard creatures cavorts among the raindrops in this latest release in the Harper Growing Tree series. A simply wrought rhyme introduces the numbers one through ten as everything from a pair of skittering spiders to several scurrying ducklings scatter with the onslaught of rain. Written for the smallest toddler, Appelt’s verses are appropriately brief without sacrificing any of the tale’s fun. The playful, rhyming word-pairs highlight a bevy of familiar critters to pique the interest of young readers. Each new number has a two-page spread devoted to it, featuring the numeral in oversized print in the upper left-hand corner and a pair of words describing the creatures’ activities—“5 Piggies squish.” Chollat’s accompanying illustrations capture a child’s delight in all things splashy. The full-bleed, boldly colored paintings depict a motley assortment of critters gleefully scampering hither and yon. Delightfully silly drawings of the animals, from the Cheshire-cat grins on the frolicking felines to the herd of dancing ponies, are ideal for a preschool audience. Also, the uncluttered backgrounds and the large-sized figures make counting opportunities a bit easier for novices. Puddle-loving tots are bound to revel in all this squashy fun and learn a little something, too. (Picture book. 1-4)