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Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain: A Nandi Tale
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Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain: A Nandi Tale

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  1,750 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
A cumulative rhyme relating how Ki-pat brought rain to the drought-stricken Kapiti Plain.Verna Aardema has brought the original story closer to the English nursery rhyme by putting in a cumulative refrain and giving the tale the rhythm of “The House That Jack Built.” ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published May 20th 1992 by Puffin Books (first published 1981)
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Jul 09, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
I loved this from Reading Rainbow years ago! The story is told in such a lyrical way, I just love the rhythm. The illustrations are fabulous, very evocative of place and emotion; the cows with their tongues lulling out from thirst always creeped me out as a kid, but in a delicious sort of way since I knew the happy ending to come. I came across a copy recently and still think it's a great book!
Jan 13, 2009 Mary rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who loves children's picture books
Recommended to Mary by: I found it in bookstore
This is a charming African picture book that I had to buy as soon as I saw the great illustrations, especially the purple-feathered eagle, and saw that it used "This is the house that Jack Built" repetition that I fondly remember my Dad reading to us a long, long time ago. Here was a book with gorgeous illustrations that I could read to my grandchildren and thus connect the past with the present with the future. I want it close by when I'm too old to read anything else :)
Emilie Bonnie
Feb 24, 2013 Emilie Bonnie rated it really liked it
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain is a beautiful picture book set in Nandi, Kenya, Africa. A tale of magic and tradition in a land where there has been no rain and the grass and animals are in desperate need to be replenished and fed. ‘As the big, black cloud, all heavy with rain, that shadowed the ground on Kapiti Plain’ lingers in the sky ahead, who will save the day and end this draught over Kapiti Plain?

Appropriate for KS1 this magical tale uses rhyming words, repetition and similes, which m
Shanna Gonzalez
May 21, 2009 Shanna Gonzalez rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-04-08
A very nicely illustrated retelling of a traditional Kenyan folktale, altered to fit the British style of cumulative nursery rhymes, reminiscent of "The House that Jack Built." The illustrations are evocative of African artwork, and unlike many children's books that tell folktales, this one omits the near-obligatory animism and spiritism that permeates tribal cultures. However, it also doesn't have the literary form of most traditional tales. The tale of a shepherd shooting a hole in the clouds ...more
Jolene Aho
“Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain” is a folktale from the Nandi people in Kenya. It is about Ki-pat, a herdsman who tries to make it rain during a drought so the cattle will have grass to graze on.
This story is traditional literature because it is a folktale. It is a simple story with a clever hero who saves the cattle. It was passed down by storytellers until it was written down in 1909. This is a more recent adaptation.
This book has rhythm and a cumulative refrain like “The House That Jack B
Published way back in 1981 this picturebook is a wonderful celebration of language and Nandi culture. Retold by Aardema, this Nandi tale celebrates sound and noise as well as the animal life and landscape of the East African plains. It is a traditional tale which is poetic and rhythmic in structure and this makes it an appealing and engaging text: especially for those younger children. I also liked the shape of the book since the long, landscape format celebrates the scope and majesty of the ...more
Betty Ortega
Sep 22, 2016 Betty Ortega rated it it was amazing
* Book Summary
This book highlights the importance of rain and what happens to the community of Kapiti Plain when it doesn't rain for a long time.

NONE: author is Winner of Caldecott Medal and Brooklyn Art Books for Children Award

* Grade Level/ Interest level
2nd-4th grade

* Appropriate Classroom Use
When learning about Ecology

*Student Who Might Benefit From Reading
All students

* Small Group Use
I would ask students to think about what would happen to their community if they didn't ge
Sara Andrews
Nov 09, 2014 Sara Andrews rated it it was amazing
The Kenyan folktale, “Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain,” is about a drought in the Kapiti Plain. It very poetically describes how everything is interdependent. “These are the cows, all hungry and dry, Who mooed for the rain to fall from the sky; To green-up the grass, all brown and dead, That needed the rain from the cloud overhead---” with each line it grows more and more building from the page before. It is written in a similar manner “The House that Jack Built.”
A teacher could use this book
Sep 26, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
I found this tedious and boring but apparently my 5 yr old loved it. It was required reading for his school lesson on Africa. The characters, the animals, the setting all incorporate aspects of Africa into this story. It's a story with a rhythmic poetic quality about it that keeps adding on additional events so that by the end of the story, you're repeating many of the same lines over and over again. My son loved it and wants us to get more books by Aardema from the library. So it's got ...more
Lisa Vegan
Dec 12, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: for reading aloud, but not for very young vegan children
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
This repetitive rhyming book is charming and just begs to be read aloud. In fact, I ended up reading it aloud to myself and I’m looking forward to reading it to some children when I have the opportunity. This catchy story is based on an old Nandi Kenyan African folk tale. The illustrations are done by an artist who has created designs for UNICEF cards; the art was familiar and I think that’s why. This was enjoyable to read and I just reserved this author’s book: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s ...more
Megan Sanchez
Nov 25, 2012 Megan Sanchez rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book that has stuck with me over time. I probably read this book a dozen times as a child. The artwork and the rhythmic poetry of the story were absolutely captivating to me. I remember studying the different types of animals and dreaming of going on an actual safari. Beatriz Vidal's gorgeous illustrations gives a sense of ancient simplicity that compliments the story in every way. I definitely suggest this book for children of any age.
Shanaz Begum
Nov 19, 2011 Shanaz Begum rated it liked it
I would have never picked this book up read it. At school our topic was diversity and my class was looking at Africa. This book linked perfectly in with the topic. It was really nice how the author used rhyme in the book and repetition. The book had beautiful illustration. It was amazing how children as young as 5/6 year old were interested in this book. Just reading this book we were able to link it in with English, Art and a bit maths too!
Mar 01, 2010 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fun, rhythmic tale that uses cumulative wording similar to the story, "The House that Jack Built." The illustrations are wonderful and the rhyming narrative is fun to read. Our oldest has read this so many times, she can almost recite it by heart. We really had fun taking turns reading this one aloud.
Margaret Prempeh
Mar 20, 2014 Margaret Prempeh rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Great educational fiction book. This was read to a year 1 class over a number of days. Great for informational retrieval. Originally used for a literacy lesson but covered Geography and Science as well.
The book is about a drought in Africa, Kapiti Plain and the animals end up migrating so Ki-Pat(main character) finds a way to bring the rain, and animals, back to Kapiti Plain.
James K
Oct 24, 2016 James K rated it it was amazing
Shelves: traditional
Since this book covers a wide range of topics, it is suitable for 1st to 4th graders. The book is a rendition of a Nandi tale that tells the story in a poem format. It starts off explaining how the animals of Kapiti plain are migrating because of the delayed rain season, which harms the farmers near there. Ki-pat, a herder, sees the full cloud looming overheard, and shoots in open by firing an arrow made with an eagle's feather. I really enjoyed this book because of the unique artistic style and ...more
This was a great book that really fitted with the rainy weather, to show that some areas really want rain! The suspense as to whether it will rain on the next page was great. I really like how the poem builds and unfortunately it didn't work too well when I read it with a nursery group but I'm sure KS1 or 2 groups would appreciate it much more. The illustrations were also lovely - that biiig blaaack cloud!
Feb 29, 2016 Olivia added it
Shelves: pk-5
Title: Bringing the Rain to Kaptiti Plain
Author: Verna Aardema
Illustrator: Beatriz Vidal
Genre: Non-European Folktale
Theme(s): African Plain, Rhyme Stories, Animals,
Opening line/sentence: “This is the great Kapiti Plain, all fresh and green from the African rains…”
Brief Book Summary: This book is one long rhyme set to the familiar rhyme of “The House that Jack Built”. The rhyme unfolds in the African plains among all the animals. It shares how Ki-pat saved the African Plains from a drought.
Oct 03, 2016 Brigid rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, moms
This book is an absolute favorite at our house. I love the rhythm of the words as you read it. It's truly a classic work, especially if you are trying to expose children to different cultures and ideas.
Camille Tesch
Sep 24, 2016 Camille Tesch marked it as to-read
Ages 4-6
Abby Brithinee
This book is written in rhyming couplets that build on each other, in a manner reminiscent of "The House That Jack Built," and it tells the story of Ki-pat, a cowherd who ended a drought by shooting the rain down from the sky.

The pictures are a style I haven't seen very often: watercolor outlined in white. The colors are very muted, dusty tones in the parts about the drought, but become vibrant and bright when the drought ends.

A fair number of words per page means that you need to read this to a
Sep 18, 2016 Brittany rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-bz-kneez
This was the first book I ever read on my own to my dad instead of him reading to me. It has such a rich story and one I remember so fondly. Highly recommend sharing the story with your kids. Added this out of nostalgia I know but it's such a great beginner book.
Johana Salazar
Giraffes. zebras, and cows are thirst and a good woman is making arrows with fetters from a big bird to brake the cloud overhead.

Patricia Wilson
Mar 17, 2012 Patricia Wilson rated it really liked it
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain is a folktale for children of primary to intermediate ages. The book has a rich natural rhythm that is straight forward. Each line compliments the next and the story reflects parts of the African culture. There are several motifs and illustrations that aid in the story telling. This is a short book that is fun to read and I feel all will enjoy it. The book begins with the great Kapiti plain green from the African rains. On that plain the ground birds nest in the ...more
Haley Potts
Dec 04, 2014 Haley Potts rated it it was amazing
For my traditional literature book, I read Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain, written by Verna Aardema and illustrated by Beatriz Vidal. On the front cover, there are several animals you find in Africa, and it looks like an African man standing out in the grasslands with them. It seems like he may have a technique to bring rain to the plain that he lives on because he has a stick or staff of some kind in his hand. The pictures have vibrant colors and, although they are not realistic, they are ...more
Nov 18, 2012 Rosalinda rated it it was amazing
Main Character/s: Ki-pat
Setting: Kapiti Plain
POV: 3rd Person

Summary: This is a picture book that is based on the Nandi people of Kenya. This book specifically looks at their folk traditions and focuses on a young boy named Ki-pat. Ki-pat is taking care of his cattle when he spots a large cloud over the plains. Up until this point the Nandi people have been in a drought and the plains have been deprived of water. When Ki-pat spots the cloud he makes it his responsibility to bring back the rain
Emily Allen
Apr 20, 2013 Emily Allen rated it really liked it
Based on an African folktale, Verna Aardema and Beatriz Vidal do an excellent job encapsulating african culture, helpful stylistic devices and this neat story to entertain children of all ages. The beautiful illustrations by Vidal reflect that of African art, and the story has such good rhythm. The story compounds like something similar to the song the Twelve Days of Christmas which is great for kids who need repetition of words and ideas to aid in comprehension.

Ki-pat, a single man watching ove
Harley Stine
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain is about a young boy (Ki-pat) in charge of cattle in the middle of a drought. He only wishes for rain to fall from the sky to quench the thirst of his cows. He makes up a sort of rain chant to hopefully induce rainfall. He then shoots an arrow in to the sky. Finally the rain does fall in the plains, satisfying Ki-pat and the cows. The story then starts to follow young Ki-pat's life as he grows, marries and eventually has a son.

I personally was not a fan of this
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain is a quick rhyming style book that retells the Kenyan story of the Kapiti Plain in the style of The House That Jack Built.

I’m pretty sure I read this as a kid or at least had it read to me at some point, but I’m such a sucker for brilliant artwork that I decided to read it again. The story itself is told in rhyme and repetition, as each page adds a verse and then goes through the previous verses again. The House That Jack Built is one of those stories that a lot
Jun 06, 2011 David rated it really liked it
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain: A Nandi Tale by Verna Aardema, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal is the story of Kenyan herdsman Ki-pat, who creatively ends a life threatening drought on the African plains.

Aardema's cumulative refrains will remind many of The House That Jack Built rhyme with the use of the phrase "This is the ...". Aardema successfully adapts this tale which was collected by British anthropologist Sir Claud Hollis, and included in his 1909 book The Nandi: Their Language and Folklo
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Verna Norberg Aardema Vugteveen (6 June 1911 – 11 May 2000), best known by the name Verna Aardema, was an American author of children's books.

Born in New Era, Michigan she graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. of Journalism in 1934. She worked as a grade school teacher from 1934 to 1973 and became a correspondent for the Muskegon Chronicle in 1951, which lasted until 1972, the year
More about Verna Aardema...

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