Thursday, June 9, 2016

Raindrops Roll: A book review

I love books by April Pulley Sayre. In my experience, they are great read aloud books with carefully chosen words that pack a lot of science and wonder in just a couple of sentences a page. With the short text, it makes these perfect for preschool children; however, I have also read them to adults and older children as well.

This book, Raindrops Roll is all photographs, which makes it different than some of her other books. She took almost all of the photos herself, using her neighbors garden and getting very wet! I like her personal note of thanks specific to this book, naming our local Michiana weather people, her neighbors and husband, as well as others that reviewed the book and made it happen. The book has won several prestigious awards.



The book follows a very simple premise. It's almost a fill in the blank for Raindrops _______. This could actually be a great extension activity for a class to follow up the book. We start the book with the promise of rain and dark clouds--insects take cover in various places, like a firefly under a leaf. "Rain plops. It drops." I love the rhyme and lyrical quality to the text. After splashing, washing, making mud, spilling, dropping, etc., we learn about all the water left after the rain as it gathers and globs, clinging to curves, making angles, and more. They also magnify, reflect, reveal, and dry. 


The photography is simply beautiful! It's obvious many, many trips were taken out in the rain to make this come alive. These are all plants we would see in our area; however, the text works with rain anywhere as the qualities remain the same. She shares a blog post with the plants and animals she used, giving names of what is going on in the pictures. Love this!  I'd love to see April's process. Did she have the pictures first and then write the text or write the text and then go look for the pictures to go with them? This takes me outside on a  rainy day and encourages our own rainy day exploration, perhaps making a copy of the book with our own pictures. 


We are getting ready for International Mud Day, so loved the mud aspect of this one! At the end, there is a "splash of science" with information on the forms of water and how they are formed, what happens scientifically as raindrops dot, cling, magnify, reflect, fill and spill, dry, etc. She even talks about how raindrops eventually end up in our drinking glasses and our bodies. April also shares several connected books and resources. I appreciate pages like this as an educator--I learn from the books as well! Of course, The Classroom Bookshelf has oodles of related activities! It shares dramatic presentations (with sound), exploring after a rainfall, using various literary devices, and a list of related websites. Personally, I would be looking at the animals and plants in the book, investigating raindrops with magnifying glasses, making mud, making rain art with watercolor pencils and heavy paper, etc. I might even laminate the pages to find on a rainy day hunt outside with children. So many possibilities! 

So far, I have loved all of April Pulley Sayre's books. I find them magical and packed full of information in a short amount of words. Raindrops Roll is consistent with the quality I expect from her.  Read other book reviews I have done of her work here:

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