________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 2 . . . . September 14, 2007


Who Likes the Rain? (Exploring the Elements).

Etta Kaner. Illustrated by Marie Lafrance.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2007.
32 pp., hardcover, $14.95.
ISBN 978-1-55337-841-9.

Subject Heading:
Rain and rainfall-Juvenile literature.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 4-6.

Review by Reece Steinberg.

*** /4


I like the rain because I see lots of snails.

I wonder how snails get their shells.
A snail is born with a soft, thin shell.

As the snail eats, it adds calcium to its shell. Calcium is what makes eggshells strong. It also makes the snail's shell stronger and bigger. The shell grows in a coiled shape.

It takes one year for a snail's shell to grow to its full size.

Who Likes the Rain? begins with a boy in bright yellow rain clothes running down a near-abandoned street asking, "Who likes the rain?" The grey street explodes into colour when readers lift the flap and see a group of people in all types of rain gear responding, "I do!"

     In each previous book of the "Exploring the Elements" series, Who Likes the Wind?, Who Likes the Snow? and Who Likes the Sun?, children ask questions about the weather. Each child's question is answered in detail behind a large flap. Preceding the question is a statement by the child of why s/he likes an effect of the element. Who Likes the Rain? does not depart from this pattern.

     The writing in this book is upbeat and captures the inquisitiveness of many children. The questions and answers are creative, covering a wide range of effects the rain has on people, animals and the environment. Children who wonder about the world will be interested to learn why it thunders, why plants need water and where water from the street goes, among other topics. As the book answers each query, it offers additional interesting information which may cause young readers to think of their own questions. The writing is clear and concise. The questions and "I like" statements are in large print, appropriate for beginning readers. The answers are slightly more complicated and suitable for readers who have a little more experience.

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     The pictures in this book are laid out nicely and show a variety of different activities. Children and adults perform tasks such as carrying home groceries and gardening. Children also play in the rain and admire plants and insects. Like other books of this series, the pictures include children with various colours of skin and one person using a wheelchair. The settings include both the countryside and the city, as well as marshland, a sandy beach and an indoor environment.

     As with other books of the series, the style of illustration and muted colours may be a little too mature for the audience for which this book is intended, but the dynamic scenes help to overcome this difficulty. Despite the fact that this book is about rain, the colours are no more muted than those of the other books of this series, due to the bright rain clothes, umbrellas, animals and plants decorating every page.

     The small 7x7 book would be ideal for cozy reading inside on a rainy day.


Reece Steinberg, a librarian at Vancouver Public Library, currently works in the Business & Science, and Virtual Reference divisions.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364
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