Friday, March 20, 2015

Two Titles for the Rainy Season

Some days it rains, some days it snows... but we're definitely headed towards the rainy season here in the northeast. So I figure we need a couple of books to get us on our way.

theme: weather, clouds, nature 

Clouds: a compare & contrast book
by Katharine Hall
32 pages; ages 4-8
Arbordale, 2015

opening:  "Some clouds are big and fluffy; others are thin and wispy."

This book is filled with photos of clouds - perfect for browsing, and comparing different kinds of clouds. The language is simple enough that young readers can peruse it themselves. At the back are two hands-on experiments about precipitation, a cloud-matching game, and a handy guide to predicting the weather from the clouds.

Pitter and Patter
by Martha Sullivan; illus. by Cathy Morrison
32 pages; ages 4-10
Dawn publications, 2015

opening: "Pitter and Patter dropped from a cool, gray cloud one day."

Pitter lands on an oak leaf, drips into the stream below, and is on a water cycle adventure that carries him through a valley, wetland, and finally into the ocean. Along the way he meets fox and deer, dragonfly and trout. Patter lands in a meadow and percolates into the soil. His journey is different from Pitters, but eventually they both meet when they are evaporated back into the sky. There's plenty of back matter explaining states of matter, water cycle, and water sheds, plus hands-on activities.

What I like about these books: they're a fun way to introduce a complex topic ~ the water cycle. I always love books with back matter, especially when it includes hands-on activities with easy-to-get materials, which both books do.

Beyond the book activities: there are tons of things to do besides pulling on your boots and splashing through puddles.

Cloud Watching ~ Take a camera outside and look for different kinds of clouds. Sometimes we'll have nice, fluffy clouds in the morning, and then some that look like fish scales in the afternoon. Try to get photos of different kinds of clouds so you can make a "cloud finder" chart - or draw pictures of different kinds of clouds. Have a cloud-watching contest to see who finds the most humorous or weirdest shape in the clouds.

Play a game of Drip, Drip Drop ~ Exactly like duck, duck, goose, but with drips and drops.

What floats in a puddle? After a rainstorm, gather things from nature - stones, pine cones, twigs, etc - and guess which ones will float in a puddle. Then test them out.

Cloud Painting - with a "bath poof" or a loofah.

How big is a Raindrop? Collect raindrops and measure them ~ directions here.

Today's review is part of the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. We're also joining PPBF (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 BooksReview copies from the publishers.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I like the pairing of these two books. Being half Indian, the rainy season to me means an ocean of water falling for days.

  2. Such a wonderful spring offering. Both books are excellent suggestions for curious children. Great that kids can watch the journey of water in Pitter and Patter. I loved watching clouds and playing in rain puddles as a child. These book would have appealed to me. I also really like your activities.

  3. Hi Sue,

    These books are great precursers for Spring. Your activities are so delightful I can' wait to try them. IF only it would rain instead of snow. Right now it is snowing here and cold. Summer rain appeals to me. :)

  4. I love using paired texts...thanks for putting these two together. And on a day with rain here in Texas!

  5. I'm thinking we need some clouds and rain in California. I'll have to take a look at these books and do a rain dance. Thanks for highlighting!

  6. Love clouds - hope I can find this pb. And rain - but not so much squirrels!

  7. I'm looking forward to reading Clouds as part of ReFoReMo. Thanks!

  8. I love the rain! Clouds and rain. We're getting a lot of both lately. I'll have to find these books! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Clouds looks beautifully done! I'll have to look for it. Thank you for the recommendation!

  10. I'm late, but glad I'm reading through. Lots of books to look up. I LOVE cloud books. I have a concept manuscript I've been working on since the fall. There are tons of cloud books, but always a unique angle.