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Sometimes Rain

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Sometimes Rain Book Poster Image
Poetic, relatable look at the different seasons of the year.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows how the weather, nature, and animal life changes through the four seasons of the year, and how the seasons affect how we live, play, and explore. Shows kids sledding, swimming, picking apples, playing in a treehouse, building mud castles, jumping in a pile of fall leaves, and more. 

Positive Messages

Implies that it's fun to observe nature and experience all the seasons of the year. People and animals feel at home where they live. You can have fun outdoors in all kinds of weather -- sledding down a hill in winter or splashing in the ocean in summer. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Two pairs of happy siblings -- one black, one white -- have fun playing and exploring together and are curious and excited to discover things in nature. Both pairs of kids have a nice home to return to when day is done. A mom is shown hugging her kids when they come home. 

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Meg Fleming's Sometimes Rain, illustrated by Diana Sudyka, is a lyrical journey through the seasons of the year. With spare rhyming couplets, evocative, exuberant watercolors, and two pairs of siblings and a dog romping together in nature, it conveys the wonder and magic of each season, from the arrival of winter on through till the next winter. The poetry makes it a great read-aloud, and the pictures of kids playing and exploring make it relatable for young readers. 

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What's the story?

This lively book of seasons begins with a white brother and sister having a picnic when it starts to rain. "Sometimes drizzle./ Drip-drip rain. Sometimes picnic./ SOMETIMES RAIN." We don't know what season they're in till we turn the page and see that it's getting chilly and there's frost on "every hill." By the next page, the kids are sledding down a snowy mountain with their friends, an African American brother and sister around their their ages. They continue to play and explore outdoors in nature for the rest of the book, until winter rolls around again and we see them go home to their own houses as night and snowflakes fall. 

Is it any good?

This joyous, poetic, beautifully illustrated picture book is a great way to introduce the seasons to young readers. Sometimes Rain focuses on kids having fun outdoors in all kinds of weather, playing, exploring, observing wildlife, jumping in fall leaves or splashing in in water at the beach, sledding down hillsides in the snow. The rhyming poetry is spare -- mainly two lines per page -- so it's easy for young readers to absorb and open-ended enough to give space for a kid's own reflections of what a day in a given season can feel like. It's great for read-aloud and prompting grown-ups to share memories of what they did in different seasons when they were kids. 

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the season shown in Sometimes Rain. Which season is your favorite? Which one looks like the most fun?

  • The kids in Sometimes Rain seems to have just as much fun in winter, when they're bundled up in the snow, as they do in summer, when they're in swim suits on the beach. How does the weather affect how you play? What do you do when it's cold and rainy or snowy? What do you do when it's hot and sunny?

  • What colors does the artist use to show winter? What colors does she use to show fall? Draw a picture of the season you're in right now. 

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