Big Rain Coming

Overview

As one dry day follows another in the Australian outback, everyone and everything is waiting for the rain, which seems as though it will never come. Rosie’s kids, the panting dogs, the fat green frogs, and Old Stephen all do what they can to keep cool as they watch for storm clouds on the horizon. Stunningly beautiful full-color artwork and spare text evoke the long wait during the dry season, and the jubilant relief when the long-promised rain finally arrives. Any child can identify with the theme of how hard it...

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Overview

As one dry day follows another in the Australian outback, everyone and everything is waiting for the rain, which seems as though it will never come. Rosie’s kids, the panting dogs, the fat green frogs, and Old Stephen all do what they can to keep cool as they watch for storm clouds on the horizon. Stunningly beautiful full-color artwork and spare text evoke the long wait during the dry season, and the jubilant relief when the long-promised rain finally arrives. Any child can identify with the theme of how hard it is to wait for something you want, and the outsize, brilliantly colored, stylized illustrations—which feature imagery from Aboriginal mythology—make this an especially striking picture book that will captivate and delight young readers.

Though everyone eagerly awaits the rain, it is slow in coming.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The breathless heat, building anticipation, and joyful rush of release commemorate experiences universal to every child." Kirkus Reviews

"The text is well paced with a perfect rhythm for reading aloud, and the large, clean double spreads make for easy viewing." School Library Journal

"This evocative picture book saturates the senses as surely as rain does parched earth." Publishers Weekly

"Young ones...will connect with the paintings' vibrant energy and return to look at this lovely art gallery between covers" Booklist, ALA

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This well-crafted picture book from an Australian team brings the dry and dusty reaches of the outback straight to American readers. On Sunday, Old Stephen, a white-bearded Aborigine, predicts rain, but it takes all week to arrive. With each day that passes, anticipation builds like the dark clouds on the horizon and everyone struggles to keep cool. On Monday, "The night was so warm Rosie's kids dragged their beds outside to maybe feel some breeze while they slept"; on Tuesday, dogs dig holes for shelter from the heat; and so on. Finally, on Saturday, it happens--"wonderful cool wet RAIN." A minimum of text per spread emulates the patient waiting of the people and animals in Bancroft's intricately patterned illustrations. She represents the earth with stylized swirls of brown and black and creates the billabong from a patchwork of limpid purples and greens. People appear as black silhouettes clothed in bright polka dots and stripes; lizards scamper across the foreground, and in the sky, the sun is an ever-changing orb of concentric circles and dots. Through it all runs the unifying motif of the Rainbow Serpent, an aboriginal symbol of creation closely associated with water and life, flowing in a ribbon of abstract design across the bottom of nearly every page. This evocative picture book saturates the senses as surely as rain does the parched earth. Ages 4-8. (July) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature
A work of art is the only way to describe this simple, beautifully illustrated book. It is a faultless match with the straightforward story about the Aboriginal people living in a village in Australia. They have waited for many days for the drought to end and the rain to come. Oh, what a celebration when it comes! With less than 20 words on each page, the author conveys the impact the scorched earth can have on people, nature and the environment. The deep rich colors of rust, black, greens and blues capture the hot sun at one moment, the star filled sky the next and, ultimately, the joy of the drenching rain as it pours at last. This is one of those books that adults will experience as a gift to the eye. 1999, Clarion Books, $15.00. Ages 4 up. Reviewer: Kathleen Orosz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-The rainbow serpent, an aboriginal symbol of creation in the dreamtime, winds his way across the bottom of the pages in this picture book first published in Australia. When Old Stephen sees the dark clouds spreading in the south, he knows there is a big rain coming. Each weekday passes, however, and the weather remains hot and dry. Readers are introduced to Rosie's kids, the dogs at Roberta's place, children swimming in the billabong-but still there is no rain. On Friday, thick gray clouds echo with thunder. Finally, on Saturday-"Wonderful cool wet RAIN" begins to fall. Using aboriginal motifs and bold graphics, Bancroft utilizes rich colors and thick black lines to good effect. The text is well paced with a perfect rhythm for reading aloud, and the large, clean double-page spreads make for easy viewing.-Doris Gebel, Northport-East Northport Public Library, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Leonard S. Marcus
This lyrical read-aloud, illustrated with bold, richly patterned graphics and set in the Australian outback, captures the spirit of hope and exultation felt by everyone in a dry, dry place when the rain they desperately need is finally on the way.
Parenting
Kirkus Reviews
With the bold, dotted patterns and dark lines of Aborigine art, Bancroft (Dreamtime, 1994) takes sweltering Australian dogs, frogs, and children through days of relentless heat, then suspense, as clouds build up in the distance only to disperse, and at last the final sweet relief of rain, rain, rain. A spare text pushes the illustrations to the fore; under blazing sun or towering gray clouds the all-black silhouettes of lizards and children skitter across bare ground, drawn in undulating lines that echo those of the jeweled Rainbow Serpent gliding along beneath. The breathless heat, building anticipation, and joyful rush of release commemorate experiences universal to nearly every child, whether the setting be outback or, as in Karen Hesse's Come On, Rain! (1999), urban. A strongly evocative import and a promising debut for Germein. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618083442
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD330L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 12.30 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Meet the Author

Katrina Germein was a teacher at Minyerri, a remote Aboriginal community in Australia's Northern Territory, the setting for BIG RAIN COMING. She now lives and works at Ramingining Community in Arnhem Land, Australia.
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