Friday, May 5, 2017


by Tim McCanna; illus. by Richard Smythe
32 pages; ages 4-8
Simon & Schuster, 2017

themes: nature, rain, ecosystems

Drip drop
      plip plop
           pitter patter pat ...

A rainstorm moves in as a fox trots through a marsh. As the storm builds, fox looks for a safe place to shelter.

What I like love about this book: The language. Reading the words aloud is like listening to a rainstorm. Whish! Hiss! Whoosh.... The illustrations are stunning, and capture the storm from all angles, including from above.

 You can feel the energy of the leaves whirling in the wind! I love the beat of the words, and the way they are grouped on the pages. At first the words are soft, few on the page, but as the storm intensifies the words become rougher, more intense, louder.

I also love that there is back matter: notes about ecosystems, watersheds, and the importance of water to plants and animals. The story itself doesn't explain the water cycle or ecology of a marsh, but we see it. Notes add some context that an older reader can share with a youngster.

Beyond the book: 

Follow the sound of Rain. Next time you have a rain storm, listen to the sounds. Write down what the rain sounds like. Feel the beat of the drops against the roof or earth.

Go on a "sense" walk. After rain, walk outside and listen. Smell the air, mud, plants. Feel the air, grass, drips and drops from leaves above. Look for glitter, rainbows, reflections.

Where does water go? Follow the rivulets - do they join a stream? a river? how does the water get from your house to a lake or ocean? Where else does water go after the rain?

Measure a raindrop. You'll need a cookie sheet or shoebox lid, flour, a bowl, a fine-mesh sieve, and a ruler. Here's how to do it.

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books.We're also joining the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. Review copy from my personal library.


  1. There is such a beautiful rhythm to this lovely story. And the illustrations are beautiful. I especially like you suggested activities.

  2. I agree. The rhythm of the words is so important in picture books. And your "Beyond the Book" activities are the perfect choice for your book.

  3. I love this book. I donated a copy to a 2nd grade teacher. She also fell in love with it and used it in her poetry unit. The illustrations are amazing, too.

  4. Oh, Tim's latest, how wonderful. Love his word use. What a great text also to use to teach onomatopoeia.

  5. I will have to check this out. It sounds lovely.