Come On, Rain!
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Come On, Rain!

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  531 ratings  ·  148 reviews
Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse recreates the body and soul-renewing experience of a summer downpour after a sweltering city heat wave. Lyrically written and lovingly illustrated." - School Library Journal "Hesse's language is a quiet, elegant surge.... Muth contributes fine watercolor atmospherics." - Kirkus Reviews

Book Details: Format: Hardcover Publication Date: 3/1/1999 P...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Scholastic Press
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I love this book! I felt immediately engulfed in the drooping, oppressive heat of a long, rainless summer... the expectancy and the urgent NEED for the rain to come and break the spell... the sheer delight of the first raindrops and the mounting glee as the rain pours down. This is a lovely, lovely story from two bright stars in the children's book galaxy. I think this was done before Muth became "famous" for his Zen books. I'm familiar with Karen Hesses novels but now I'll be on the look out fo...more
Mar 19, 2010 Ann rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ann by: Kathryn
What a great read! I love the illustrations that complement the text, and completely capture that hazzy summer heat.

A longer picture book than most, Hesse really gives the feel of summer and that anxiousness when looking at those first storm clouds on the horizon! While at times I thought the text was a tad too artsy, that's really just my own personal taste.

Overall a really great and unique book! Definitely recommended!
Lisa Vegan
Mar 23, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
This is a delightfully told story, told via some lovely poetry that just flows off the page. The illustrations are really wonderful and special too.

The descriptions were spot on: of the unbearable oppressive heat, of the refreshing and fun rain, of the joy of play, of how certain moments can be so special, and captured so well the compelling anticipation.

It reminded me of childhood and the magic some rainstorms seemed to have.

It was both sophisticated and accessible, and both fun and emotionally...more
Liz Hammet
Come on, Rain! Written by Karen Hesse and illustrated by Jon J Muth encompasses beautiful illustrations of the African American characters and slang. The story seems to be set in the Deep South. The main characters are Mamma and Tessie. Mamma and Tessie live together and they are witnessing a drought in the midst of exasperating heat. The Mamma and little girl, Tessie, are beautifully illustrated and seem to have a good relationship. They are impatiently waiting on the rain to come, and while th...more
This book is about a girl and her mother that desperately wanted it to rain. They are going through a drought and need for it to rain because their plants are parched and they are miserable because they do not have an air-conditioner. Finally, the clouds begin to get dark and it starts to rain. The daughter calls her friends to tell them to put their swimsuits on and play in the rain. When the mother’s sees this they go outside too and play in the rain. This book contains a lot sentence types, a...more
Juliet Schenk
Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse is a short, lyrical story about a young girl Tessie and her friends. Throughout the story they are wishing for the rain to come so that they can go out in dance in it. The thing I like about this book is that it’s short but filled with great descriptions that transport the reader into the story. The illustrations are also excellent which would greatly benefit the comprehension level for all readers, especially ELLs. This book would be a great read aloud in grades 3...more
I normally don't review the books that I read to my daughter but this one did something to me. While I was reading it, I felt myself settle into my Southern drawl that I normally disguise every chance I get and I just enjoyed the words, explaining some to my five year old, and allowing the rest to settle over me. I felt like we shared something special while reading this, something that only mothers and daughters can share. Karen Hesse has a lyrical way with words and I was thoroughly impressed.
Nojood Alsudairi
Mar 13, 2011 Nojood Alsudairi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Tasneem
The angles the illustrator chose to draw his characters are amazing. The feet are captioned in a way one want his own foot on that street. The bird's eye view is amazingly awsome. The text is great but the illustrations made the book much more enjoyable.
Genaye Parodi
Come On, Rain is a lovely story about a little girl wishing for rain. Although it has lots of pictures, it can be used as a great read aloud in class to teach poetic devices or to use with a unit on the "Dust Bowl- 1930's". Once rain comes in the story, all the little girls in the neighborhood come out to play and dance in the rain. All the girls are of different races playing together and enjoying the rain. Everyone is so overjoyed that it is finally raining, in fact, the whole neighborhood jus...more
It's a hot day. It's a very hot day, and I imagine it's muggy too. Hot, humid, no rain in three weeks, the plants and the people wilting. When our protagonist sees the clouds coming in she gets her friends and tells them to get their bathing suits. You can *feel* the relief when they (and their color-coded mothers) go dancing in the rain as that heat breaks. You can just about feel the rain on you by looking at the pictures! The text makes the mood - weary and tired when it's hot, happier when t...more
Lamar Sanders
Main Characters: Tessie, Momma
Point of View: 1st person
Setting: City block on a very hot summer day
Plot: The story opens with a Tessie and Momma suffering through a dry spell on a very hot summer day. Tessie is optimistically hoping for rain when she spots storm clouds in the distance. She begins to alert her friends and neighbors of the approaching rain so that they may gather and enjoy the relief together. When the rain arrives, her friends and their mother all dance in the rain, basking in th...more
This is about stinking hot days in the summer without air-conditioning, and the joy of wet, cool rain easing the heat. Four friends and their mothers go from weary sluggish from that egg-frying on pavement heat... to literally dancing in the streets. It reads beautifully, and I love, love, love the watercolor illustrations, which catch the shimmer of heat rising off sidewalks to the shimmer of reflections in puddles.
Come On, Rain! is the story about a hot dry day in the city. It hasn't rained for three weeks and the plants are dry and hot and so are the people. Then the little girl who narrates the story sees the rain coming and has her friends put on their bathing suits and waits outside for the rain then they dance and play in it and their moms come down and dance and play too. At the end everyone is refreshed and renewed. This is a nice story. The illustrations do a good job of telling the heat at the be...more
This book is about a girl and her mother who desperately wanted it to rain, BECAUSE “it's a hot day. It's a very hot day, and I imagine it's muggy too. Hot, humid, no rain in three weeks, the plants and the people wilting”. I liked how the author described the HOT DAY AND THE feeling of “desire” of having the rain. In the end, the clouds begin to get dark and it starts to rain. This book can be used when learning the adjectives; also students can learn that through a desire things might happen i...more
I like the illustrations better than the text on this one. Who in blazes puts a spoonful of sugar into cold iced tea? Don't teach children to fail! Maybe it's Nestea, but it aggravated me. Also, weird that one lady has a Victrola when everything else is modern. Also weird that the moms are all wearing stockings on the hottest day of the year. #quibble
Mary Lou Carolan
If a picture book could emanate heat, the reader would be on fire with Come On, Rain! By Karen Hesse with illustrations by the minimalist painter, Jon J. Muth. An entire city enveloped in a heat wave as seen through the eyes of the sweet and precocious Tessie. “The smell of hot tar and garbage bullies the air…” The reader is right there with Tessie on that apartment fire escape staring off, hopeful, into the sky watching for rain clouds to move in. “Mamma sinks into a kitchen chair and sweeps of...more
A young girl eagerly awaits a coming rainstorm to bring relief from the oppressive summer heat. Through exquisite language and acute observation, Newbery medalist Karen Hesse recreates the glorious experience of a quenching rainstorm on a sweltering summer day. Jon J Muth's masterful and lyrical watercolors perfectly reflect the spirit of the text. (summary from the book)

Potential Audience: Grades 2-4

Genre: Fiction, picture book

Curricular Use: Read-aloud; Could be a great book to help teach elem...more
Maggie Burgess
This story alone is alright, but the pictures bring it to life. BEAUTIFUL illustrations- I cannot say enough about them. They are what drew me into the story. I think I could feel the rain as it started to come. The illustrations make the book- I definitely enjoyed this one!
This book was used as a poem writing activity in class. We first got the story read aloud to us and then we got a copy of the text and did a choral read as a class. Then we picked out our favorite lines from the text and highlighted them, then we had to pick our very favorite line (15 words or less) and write it on a sentence strip. Then as a whole class we read our sentence as a poem. Collect all the sentences and put them up in the class in the order they were read aloud.
With older kids, as w...more
In 2013, I gave this book 4 stars because I felt it would not hold the attention of the young reader due to it being a bit long. After reading it a second time, a year later, I am giving it 5 stars. Reading it with a writer's eye, I now see the genius writing of Karen Hesse. Her word choice strung together so eloquently, creating a lyrical language that is soothing to the ear. Karen used her arsenal of poetic forms to create this lovely book. I know I mentioned it read a bit long, but it was qui...more
Sweet book with great illustrations. At first I thought it might be a bit too wordy for storytime but I think it could work... I really enjoyed the story, who doesn't love dancing in the rain?
Aug 22, 2014 Amy marked it as picture-books-read
Shelves: summer
Perfect for a hot August day. As always, I loved Karen Hesse's writing. Full review here:
Jul 07, 2010 Dee rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Karen Hesse/Jon J. Muth fans
Shelves: children-s-books
A little girl's hope for rain after a long dry and very hot spell come to life. Karen Hesse who wrote Out of the Dust, does a great job again with drought conditions. The illustrator Jon J. Muth does an excellent job. His pictures capture the heat and the rain perfectly. I especially like where mothers and daughters dance in the rain together. It makes you want to go out and do some puddle stompin'. You can feel their joy in the see the fun in his paintings. Ms. Hesse does an excellent job once...more
I was a bit dubious of how well it would work for a 4 year old due to the advanced descriptive language, but she loved it. The story is sweet, simple, and fun.
Carol Royce Owen
On a hot sticky day, one of many, a young girl, Tess, and her mother wish for rain to fall. Plants are drying up, and all around the neighborhood Tess sees people and animals alike wishing for rain. Then off in the distance Tess sees the start of rain - clouds piling up with a promise that relief is in sight. Tess prepares by convincing her mom to let her put on her swimsuit and then she and her friend wait for the first drops. Before long rain falls and they dance in the streets along with thei...more
Sep 25, 2008 Jennifer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Jennifer by: random pick in the library
I chose this book to read to a kindergarten class and hadn't looked at the author. While reading it I found the writing style sounded very much like a book I love, Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. The use of words to give texture and the exquisite visualization in her descriptions. When I finished the story and checked the author I was pleasantly surprised to see the author WAS Karen Hesse.

I HIGHLY recommend this book to elementary teachers to use in teaching children to write. How the use of si...more
While I couldn't really identify with the story, having never experienced this wait for the rain in the heat of summer, the book is highly atmospheric and the watercolor pictures absolutely stunning, very realistic but at the same time ethereal, poetic, vibrant and full of life. I think Jon J. Muth is becoming one of my favorite illustrators (especially since I reading this one and City Dog, Country Frog). Beautiful book!
Alix Mckee
Such beautiful language - wonderful fun to read aloud. Great for teaching about word choice.
Tiffany Williams
This is a cute girl who is anxious for the rain to come and for everyone to smile again!
Tim Vandenberg
It's not often that a MacArthur Fellowship, Newbery Medal & Scott O'Dell Award winner (Karen Hesse, "Out of the Dust", 1998) collaborates with a future Caldecott Honoree (Jon J Muth, "Zen Shorts", 2006), but this is an exquisite example of just such a book.

A simple, sudden summer rainstorm relieves an inner-city blistering-hot day. Spontaneous rain-dancing, silky smooth metaphors, and Muth's unparalleled watercolors create a delightfully aesthetic reading experience. The result was a Gold Me...more
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Karen Hesse is an American author of children's literature and literature for young adults, often with historical settings. Her novel Out of the Dust was the winner of the 1998 Newbery Medal and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. In 2002, Hesse was a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship.

For more information, please see
More about Karen Hesse...
Out of the Dust Letters from Rifka The Music of Dolphins Witness A Light in the Storm: The Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin, Fenwick Island, Delaware, 1861 (Dear America)

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