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Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain

Published: 18 Apr 2019

Paperback / softback, 32 pages

Recommended for age 5+

By Verna Aardema

Illustrated by Beatriz Vidal

Published by Pan Macmillan

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In this traditional tale, discovered in Kenya, a young herd boy Ki-pat must find a way to end the dreadful drought that has come to the beautiful Kapiti Plain and save the animals that live there. Authored by Verna Aardema, Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain is a delightful rhyming story full of bright and vivid illustrations by Beatriz Vidal. The cumulative rhyme is a joy to read aloud and a wonderful way to engage young children.

Tagged Africa , hot and cold regions , Kenya , rain and water cycle

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Reviewed by Alice Reedy

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain takes the reader, young or old, on a rhyming and rhythmic journey to Kenya. It is based on a traditional African folk tale. It follows the plight of the human and animal inhabitants of Nandi, who are suffering under an extended period of drought and seek to bring rain back to their village.

This is not a new text; originally written in 1981, it has been present in the larger canon of children’s literature for nearly 40 years (also winning multiple awards). I believe this is due to the repetition and lyricism of this book making it a joy to read aloud, with the vibrant double-page illustrations by Beatriz Vidal adding to the appeal of this book as something to be shared. When the large, looming black cloud finally appears, it visually dominates the page in a way that the drought has so far dominated the lives of the characters within Nandi.

As well as a book to be shared and read for pleasure, Bringing the Rain to Kapiti would be an excellent introduction to different cultures and provide an opportunity for the exploration of geographical concepts in the classroom, particularly for readers in the infant years.

I am a Year 3 teacher and English lead in a lovely, diverse primary school in East London. Bringing reading for pleasure to the forefront of children's educational experience is something I am really passionate about!