Dedicated to “my librarian”

January 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain retold by Verna Aardema, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal; published by Dial Books for Young Readers, New York; 1981.

First, who wouldn’t appreciate that this book was dedicated “for my librarian!”  Then, I loved the cumulative rhyme about the cycle of life on the Kapiti Plain in Africa; it reminded me of “The House That Jack Built.”  Indeed, the acknowledgements at the back of the book indicate that this African folk story reminded Sir Claud Hollis, who learned it while living in a Nandi village almost a century ago, of the same rhyme.  Vidal’s stylized images not only support the story remarkably, but they also look like they belong on a batik from an African village.

I would use this book in conjunction with other cumulative rhymes, such as “The House That Jack Built” in either a series of read-alouds or in a display or teacher’s box.  In a school setting, the art teacher may want to use it when teaching about batik, or use it as a source of inspiration for batik projects.

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