Raindrops to Rainbow
Raindrops to Rainbow
Plip-plop, plip-plop, plip-plip-plop
Will these raindrops ever stop?
I want a calm, clear, BLUE sky day,
So I can go outside and play.
I miss the YELLOW summer sun.
I miss the laughter. Miss the fun.
Now I stare out at the rain.
My breath fogs up the windowpane.
The sky is damp and dull and GRAY,
With more dark rain clouds on the way.
Finding ways to remain positive is difficult when circumstances seem negative. Yet, this is a life skill most needed by all. Raindrops to Rainbow tackles the teaching of this skill through the story of one girl’s rainy day experience.
A girl is pining for the sun and fed up with the rainy weather. When it turns stormy with lightning and thunder, she is scared and hides under a blanket with her teddy bear. She is overwhelmed with a negative perspective – boredom, fear, gloom. Then her mother comes onto the scene and hugs the girl tight, making her feel safe and warm again. Mother then begins to teach the girl to think more positively about a situation that may seem unpleasant.
Mom makes up a game she calls
“Count each BLUE raindrop as it falls.”
“No way,” I say. “It can’t be done.”
Mom smiles. “Let’s try. It could be fun.”
One drop, two drops, thousands, millions.
Maybe six or eight gazillion!
Raindrops splash down to the ground.
Make GRAY puddles all around.
Mom makes soup for us to eat.
And ORANGE slices –what a treat!
Look outside! The clouds are clearing.
First I’m smiling. Then I’m cheering.
This endearing story is accompanied by brilliant illustrations! The illustrator, Charlene Chua, matches colour to the mood of each page. The page is predominantly blue and gray at the beginning of the story when the girl is describing her doldrums. Later on when the mother comes onto the scene, the colour scheme changes to sunnier, hope-filled colours. Chua also recognized that the book introduces young children to colour words, and so she emphasizes the colour on the page that mentions it. For example, when the girl is lying upside down on the couch remembering the days of sunshine, the carpet rug is circular and yellow as the sun with it rays extended. The couch pillow is also yellow. The illustrations are attractive and stunning. The expressions on the faces of mother, dog and girl are excellent for teaching children different feelings people have.
Raindrops to Rainbow is also useful for teachers of elementary students who are teaching the craft of writing. The story is a poem with rhyming couplets - two lines that have a rhythm and end with words that rhyme. There are a plethora of adjectives that create powerful images – “rumbling, rolling, scary thunder”. Onomatopoeia, words formed which sound like what it is associated with, is used when the raindrops fall with a plip-plop, plip-plip-plop. The author uses alliteration like the book’s title, Raindrops to Rainbow, or when describing the sky: “The sky is damp and dull and GRAY.”
The language used in the book is age-appropriate – simple, short and easy to understand sentences. The pictures are appealing to children with all their brightness and colour. Overall, Raindrops to Rainbow is a delightful foray into an experience common to us all – dreary wet weather and the yearning for sunnier times.
Karina Wiebenga is a grade 4 educator in Burnaby, British Columbia.