Written by:Linda Ashman
Illustrated by:Christine Robinson
Preview and Predict
Look at the cover illustration, and read the teaser on the jacket flap. Ask your child to summarize what s/he thinks the book will explore. Ask questions about illustrations and descriptions you see. For example:
The title of this book is "Rain!" Do you think it will be about the rain itself or a story that takes place during the rain?
Do you like rainy days? Do you like them more or less than sunny days? Why?
What do you think will happen in this story based on the pictures we have seen so far?
Just by looking at the pictures, what do you predict the older man in this story will
be like? List three words to describe him.
As You Read
In Rain!, there are very few words used. Instead of typical vocabulary building activities that use words on the page, try using expressions on face, so engage your child in building vocabulary. The first time you (or your child) read the book, simply read it entirely without stopping, unless your child needs help or asks a specific question. On subsequent readings, ask your child to tell you how a character is feeling, based on his/her facial expressions. For example, “After the man refuses to take the boy’s cookie, how do you think the boy looks?” Your child might say, “confused” or “sad.” Help him/her develop vocabulary by coming up with a list of synonyms for the first word stated, to better describe the person’s emotion.
Sight Words: For new or emerging readers, make sure to identify words that come up
often in this book. In particular, “rain” and “ribbit,” along with other common phrases.
This book is full of emotions! Make sure to connect the characters’ reactions and emotions to your child’s everyday life. Has your child ever tried to share with someone and been met with resistance? Does your child have older friends or grandparents? How do they act in comparison to the gentleman in this story? How does it feel for your child to make a happy or positive connection with others, like the boy does with the man in the end of the story?
To ensure comprehension, ask your child about what happened in the book. Help him/her paraphrase what happened in the story. Ask your child the following questions after finishing to further explore his/her understanding of the book:
What was your favorite part of the story? Why?
The little boy and the old man have different reactions to the rain. What are those reactions? Why do you think they were so different?
The boy loves to pretend that he is a frog. Do you ever like to pretend that you’re an animal or someone other than you are? If so, who or what, and why that animal?
Now that you have read this story, is there anything that you will do or think about differently than before you read it?
In the end, the man’s opinion of the rain and his outlook become much more positive! How do you think the boy helped with that?
Revisit the question you answered before reading the book about one of the characters. Were you right? Now that you have read the book, what three words would you use to describe that character?
Extending the Story
Take a walk outside in your neighborhood or backyard. Look at everything you see. Ask your child to list what s/he sees, including everything big and small. That means a blade of grass, a slide, the sky, a dog, a building, or a sidewalk.
Now, remind your child about the book, Rain!, and how the boy and the man view the
rain so differently. This meant they had a different perspectives on the exact same thing.
Next, ask your child to choose one of the things s/he listed. What does your child think
about that thing? How might someone or something else view it differently? For example, “Look at that blade of grass? What do you think about grass? What do you think an ant or a small insect thinks about it?” “How would you like to be on the top of that tall building? How do you think that is different or similar to the perspective of a window washer?” And so on. Extend this to your conversations with your child about things that happen with his/her friends and even at school. When your child tells you a story from his/her perspective, use this tool to help your child view the situation from another person’s shoes. By using this when reading books and in real life, you can help build your child’s analytical skills and compassion!