Title: Raindrops Roll
Author: April Pulley Sayre
Photographer/Illustrator: April Pulley Sayre
Target Ages: 5 and up
First Lines: “Rain is coming. Can you feel it in the air?”
Summary: Beginning with the darkening of the sky and ending with a drying of the drops, the mystery and beauty of a rainstorm is explored.
Evaluation: Sayre gives readers a window into the world of insects, plants, and other creatures as they experience a rainstorm. The vivid and stunning photographs capture the marvel of it all. For instance, images depict insects like a firefly, a grasshopper, and a fly taking cover while the rain thuds down and washes all the plants and animals.
Raindrops are shown up close globbing together on a daisy, clinging to the curves of a web, magnifying the surface of a plant, and reflecting the wonders of nature. Each photograph is a sight to behold. You will want to look at them each, again and again.
Raindrops Roll illustrates a part of the water cycle—precipitation and, briefly, evaporation. Many books cover this topic. Sayre takes it to another level by showing in minute detail how the natural world experiences the rain and its aftermath.
In the “Splash of Science” section at the end, readers will learn more about the science of the water cycle and raindrops. I highly recommend Raindrops Roll, which encourages inquiry and wonder about this amazing world.
Activities and Extension Ideas for Lesson Plans:
- Preparation for a Storm: Before reading, discuss how people prepare when they know there will be a storm. Ask: How do you think insects and animals might prepare? Most kids have probably not thought about that question.
- Predicting Weather: Talk about the smells, sights, sounds, and the feel of the air the next time a storm is moving into to your area. Ask: How do people know a storm is coming (other than from a weather report)? This activity helps kids observe the world around them and see patterns. For older kids, you can also discuss how meteorologists predict weather and storms.
- Experiencing the Rain: Take kids out during a warm spring/summer rain (with no thunder and lightning, of course). Allow them to have fun playing in the rain. Then take some time to observe what is happening in nature.
- Post Rain: Walk around a park, playground, yard, or the woods after a rainstorm. See how many of the sights from the book you can find as well as some of your own. If possible, take photographs together. You can also bring a sketchbook to draw pictures or a journal to write down observations.
- Writing: Compose a poem or story about your rain exploration experience.
- Weather: Check out other books in the library about the weather or the water cycle. I love Water Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas.