Age Range: 3 to 6
The Little Raindrop is a great book to introduce young children to the water cycle. It is primarily a story although non fiction concepts (precipitation and evaporation) are introduced which makes it great to use as part of a water or weather topic in the Early Years classroom.
The Story: The Little Raindrop falls from a storm cloud and we follow his journey through puddles, streams, rivers and the ocean before he ends up washed up on the beach. The warmth of the sun pulls him upwards to join the other raindrops in preparation for the whole cycle to begin again.
The text in The Little Raindrop is easy to read and several words (eg. current, rapids, surfed) provided a great opportunity to introduce new vocabulary to my daughter. Dubravka Kolanovic’s soft, pastel coloured illustrations are gorgeous and Little Raindrop has a beautiful beaming smile. My favourite illustration shows him splashing into a puddle, it is the one picture where he loses his lovely raindrop shape! My daughter is also fascinated by the animals, birds and fish which are introduced during The Little Raindrop’s journey. The introduction of the kingfisher provided us with an opportunity to get our bird spotting book out!
I recently used The Little Raindrop to teach the water cycle to a group of four and five year olds. The pictures generated a lot of discussion (we talked about the difference in size between streams and rivers) and then we did some experiments. We made rain and experimented with coloured ice cubes and a hairdryer (to simulate evaporation). The children’s final task was to make a collage showing what they had learnt about the water cycle.
The Little Raindrop is a beautifully illustrated book that can be read for pure enjoyment but also provides great learning opportunities. It was a finalist in The People’s Book Prize in Spring 2013.
Author: Joanna Gray / Illustrator: Dubravka Kolanovic