BRINGING THE RAIN TO KAPITI PLAIN by Verna Aardema

BRINGING THE RAIN TO KAPITI PLAIN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As a note acknowledges, Aardema has taken a folk tale from Kenya, one which reminded its original British collector of ""The House That Jack Built,"" and brought it even closer to the cumulative structure and rhythm of that English nursery rhyme. Her rhymed version begins with a drought on Kapiti Plain: "". . . This is the grass/ all brown and dead,/ That needed the rain/from the cloud overhead--/ The big, black cloud,/ all heavy with rain,/ That shadowed the ground/on Kapiti Plain."" Then it zooms in on the young Ki-pat, who is tending his herd when an eagle feather drops near him. From the feather Ki-pat makes an arrow, which pierces ""the cloud that hangs overhead"" and brings rain to the plain. The Africans never told it this way to be sure, but the borrowed form gives this version a brisk, easy lilt, and the graphic, cut-out-like pictures are similarly crisp and direct.

Pub Date: April 29th, 1981
Publisher: Dial