picture books on rain



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The pair:

RAIN! by Linda  Ashman, pictures by Christian Robinson (2013)


Umbrella by Taro Yashima (1958)

April showers and all, at least in some parts. Both of these picture books are about rain and one’s reaction to rain. Irritation, joy, anticipation. And in both the artwork really shines through.


Rain3 copy


In RAIN! a grumpy old guy is not a fan of rain. A young boy dressed in his frog rain coat revels in it. You can tell by their speech, their actions, and even by their tones of voice and faces when they say the same thing—genius!


Rain6 copy


I love how a young person’s joie de vivre can turn someone else’s grumpity grump into a ribbity hippity-hop. It’s a wonderful book with happy, striking, and modern collage illustrations by Robinson, 2014 winner of the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award.



Thanks to Christian Robinson for the images!


In UMBRELLA, Momo (a sweet name that means “peach” in Japanese) receives an umbrella and rain boots for her third birthday. She wants badly to use them, but New York refuses to rain. Momo must wait and wait and wait and wait.




The illustrations are bright, colorful, and moody.


Putting on Pink Boots



And what I like most about this book is perhaps that it’s not about an umbrella so much after all. It’s about waiting and growing up. Because the first time it rains and Momo uses her umbrella, she holds its handle instead of her parents’ hands. It’s her first step of independence. It was worth the wait.


Blue Umbrella Pink Boots



Umbrella images via The Art of Children’s Picture Books


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Come on, Rain (a summer rainstorm); Mud (in all its gloppiness); Who Likes the Rain? (rain explained).


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You know what gets me in a good mood? Not rain necessarily, though we need it badly here in Los Angeles, but umbrellas. Rain gear. There’s something inherently happy about the choicest of those. So here goes.


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1.) hunter umbrella; 2.) ROSES coat; 3.) chooka dot rain boots.


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1.) yellow rain jacket; 2.) frog rain coat; 3.) bubble dots umbrella; 4.) silver rain boots.


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1.) striped umbrella; 2.) nightfall rain boots; 3.) packed lunch rain coat.


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1.) bulldog umbrella; 2.) Swedish fisherman’s rain coat; 3.) men’s Tretorn olive boots.


Happy April showers, guys!

13 Responses to picture books on rain

  1. Oh how I love, love, love these pairings! Ashman’s book is so marvelous and I must read Umbrella soon!

    For a fun view of precipitation out of the urban realm, don’t miss Manya Stojic’s RAIN for its color soaked illustrations and evocative descriptions of the parched African savannah, transformed in dramatic fashion by a thunderstorm.

  2. Sara O'Leary says:

    Lovely, Danielle. One more for you: http://365daysofchildrensbooks.blogspot.ca/2011/01/big-sarahs-little-boots-by-paulette.html
    Oh and this one too:
    Also, there’s no Rainy in this series (except for one my son invented) but I think you might take a liking to this little series:

  3. Tim says:

    Danielle, great choices, as usual!

    You might find this interesting–Linda Ashman posted her manuscript for Rain! here: http://www.lindaashman.com/rain__117999.htm

  4. Walter Silva says:

    Thanks so much for introducing me to Christian Robinson!

  5. I do love rain! Books, gear, the smell, the sound, the thought that we all get wet in it, no matter to social circumstances! Here’s hoping we get a little in CO too!

  6. I don’t go in much for rain gear. But I do love the rain!!!!! Sure wish we could get some here. It’s been too long.

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