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Rain Player

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  104 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
The ancient Mayan belief that the future was divinely decreed and could not be changed is the basis for this original tale of a boy who must defeat the Rain God in a ball game to save his people from disaster. Mayan art and architecture were the inspiration for the spectacular cut-paper artwork.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 23rd 1991 by Clarion Books
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We read this as part of our ancient American study of the Mayans. The boys really liked it. The illustrations are superb and bring a lot to the story.

The story itself is sensational, as are most legends/fairy tales, but that's what makes it fun.

Valuable addition to study for the Mayan culture. It makes it very easy for the little ones to feel involved too.
Jan 29, 2009 Bullcitytaheel rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Older elementary; culture studies?
More amazing paper-cut artwork. Mayan story with god(s). A little hard to catch on to at first - more for middle to older elementary.
Jan 24, 2010 Shannon rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
I couldn't read my students Golem, so I read them this instead. They were absolutely transfixed, and so was I. We reread this book nearly three times during our library class. :)
Aug 12, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing
Beautifully illustrated, nicely structured and engaging story, built around a real Mayan game.
Sep 12, 2016 Nichole rated it really liked it
Shelves: homeschool
beautiful pictures accompany an adaptation of an original Mayan story ~ the author also adds history info in notes that expanded the learning for our history lesson
I think this was a good story. When Pik (a ball player) went against the God his father did like that nor did his friends. Pik was claiming that things would be different if he was the God and "tell Chac to get to work". His father gave him a jaguar tooth to make him fierce, a quetzal feather for silent speed, and the water of the sacred cenote. This would help his challenge with the God to pok-a-tok and if he wins there will be no more drought. Pik won his challenge and became known as the Rain ...more
Feb 17, 2013 Mandee rated it liked it
Rain Player
Summary: A book based on Ancient Mayan belief that the future cannot be changed. This boy, Pik, must defeat the Rain God in a ball game to keep a disaster from occurring.
Art Media: Cut paper artwork
Art Style: Expressionism in that the artist communicates feelings through the illustrations.
Specific Notes: This book also taught that you should be humble so as not to offend. Lots of movement and expression that really evoke feelings and ideas of the story.
Oct 12, 2016 Sean rated it it was amazing
I picked it up because of the cover and I am happy to say that the whole book is equally magnificent. I love cut paper artwork, and this is some of the best I have seen. The story deserves mention, also, since it should be of interest to anybody who used to be a boy called upon to go beyond himself.
Jun 06, 2012 Kara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, myth

This is a good re-telling of a myth, but the pictures are simply AMAZING! It is truly astounding how much life and movement and expression and action and detail the author archived with an exacto knife and construction paper.

I would easily place the story on par with any comic-book super hero action 3-D film in theaters. Hands down.
Mitchell Ary
Nov 05, 2014 Mitchell Ary rated it liked it
Shelves: edrd-314
i liked this book for the illustration and the emotions evoked. this was a g rated children epic tale. one where the reader can empathize with the main character and feel as if they are joining him on his quest. the text wasn't to impressive but i might crack this book open again some day if i see it and look at the illustrations because they were the best part of the book.
Nov 28, 2013 Emkoshka rated it liked it
Engaging, interesting, colourful, incredibly detailed paper-cut illustrations. It's a David Wisniewski book; what more can I say?! I love it that with each of his books I read, I learn a little about an unfamiliar culture or history.
Oct 02, 2015 Sagan rated it really liked it
The pictures are cool! - Sagan
Mar 27, 2014 Becky rated it it was amazing
Great story with AMAZING artwork. A loose retelling if a Maya legend.
Jul 02, 2009 Colleen rated it liked it
A bit wordy but a decent story.
Oct 02, 2013 Beverly rated it really liked it
I love the beautiful, intricate and detailed cut paper illustrations.
One of his better stories and illustrations
Apr 16, 2011 Sarah marked it as to-read
Shelves: srp-2011
water myth
Aug 11, 2012 Hari rated it it was amazing
I loved it. Colorful and fun. Mixed fantasy and history in a fun way. I would easily believe this was a real myth.
To bring rain to his thirsty village, Pik challenges the rain god to a game of pok-a-tok.
Probably a four but the cutwork is so gorgeous, it deserved an extra point. I enjoyed the factual info in the back as well as the story.
Steve Boman
Apr 30, 2013 Steve Boman rated it really liked it
This small picture book is a great way to show our children more about Mayan culture, along with the idea of not being so boastful and arrogant (unless you'd like to be a frog).
Sep 21, 2016 Tanya rated it really liked it
Love the artwork!
Rick Jones
Rick Jones rated it really liked it
Feb 28, 2009
Kit rated it it was amazing
Jun 07, 2014
kmsanderson rated it liked it
Aug 14, 2016
Thomas D
Thomas D rated it liked it
Jul 01, 2014
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Jun 19, 2012
Janine Weston
Janine Weston rated it liked it
May 15, 2011
Bethany rated it it was amazing
May 11, 2015
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David R. Wisniewski was an American writer and illustrator best known for children's books.

He attended the University of Maryland, College Park but quit after one semester to join the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, graduating in 1973. He worked for several years as a clown before moving to Maryland and joining the Prince George's Country Puppet Theatre where he met his wi
More about David Wisniewski...

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