Read It. Move It. Share It.
For April, I recommended the picture book Who Likes Rain? for dance educator Maria Hanley Blakemore to use in her creative movement classes in New York City. After you read this post, hop over to Maria's Movers to see how she used the book with her young dancers. You can also read more about our monthly collaboration here.
In April 2007, when my first daughter was a little over two years old, Henry Holt and Company published the rhyming picture book Who Likes Rain? by Wong Herbert Yee. Our local library bought a copy, and I discovered it sometime later that year. Our second daughter grew into a toddler, and for the next couple of years I continued checking the book out from time to time.
I've always loved books about rain, and this is one of my favorites for toddlers and young preschoolers. It even comes in a small size (about half the size of most picture books) that is perfect for little hands. It's one of those books I would have loved to own, but for some reason I never bought a copy for myself.
My daughters are a little older now and have moved on to more complex picture books, so it was such a treat to check this book out from the library again in preparation for my post. The first page of my library copy has scribble marks all over it--some in brown crayon and some in black marker. I guess some other toddlers have been enjoying the book, too!
Pit-pit-pit on the windowpane.
Down, down, down come the drops of rain.
Who wants rain?
Who needs April showers?
I know who...
Do you know who? Do you think a toddler or preschooler would have fun guessing who wants the rain? This book is full of little riddles like this, and you always have to turn the page to find out the answer. Have you figured this one out yet? It's the trees and the flowers! Here's another one...
When it rains,
Who comes out to squirm?
I know! Do you?
I bet you guessed this one right away. It's a worm! As this adorable book goes on, the wind whooshes through the trees and the rain beats like a tom-tom drum on the umbrella of the little girl at the center of it all. The guessing game also continues, as the little girl trudges through the rain in her yellow raincoat and hat and in her green rain boots, right up to the very end of the book.
As you may have guessed, the book is also full of imagery and movement words that could facilitate exploration of how the rain moves, how the environment moves in response to the rain, and how different animals like to move in the rain.
If you like the sound of the book, you might also be interested in two similar books by Wong Herbert Yee. Each is written in rhyme, and each follows the same little girl as she explores a different season.
Tracks in the Snow was published shortly after Who Likes Rain?, and Summer Days and Nights was just published in April. I read Tracks in the Snow quite a few years ago but don't remember it in detail, and I haven't read the latter yet. I'm wondering if these two books would be good additions to a children's dance library, too. Hmmmm....
Before you go, don't forget to see here how Maria used Who Likes Rain? in her creative movement classes in April. She focused on an aspect of the story that I hadn't thought of, and she and her dancers had a great time!
This post is part of Read Aloud Thursday at Hope is the Word and part of Poetry Friday at Wild Rose Reader this week. Check out both sites for more read-aloud and poetry favorites!