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.