Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain” as Want to Read:
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,659 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
The story of how Ki-pat ingeniously brings rain to the arid Kapiti Plain. "Cumulative rhyming tale with the rhythm and repetition of The House That Jack Built . . . Illustrations are stylized, simple, and dramatic."--School Library Journal.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 1st 1981 by Dial Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,407)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 09, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Sara Andrews
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
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 educatio ...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 E ...more
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.
Haley Potts
Dec 04, 2014 Haley Potts rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ve ...more
Megan Sanchez
Nov 25, 2012 Megan Sanchez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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!
Margaret Prempeh
Mar 20, 2014 Margaret Prempeh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Mar 01, 2010 Dolly rated it really liked it
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.
Jess Farabaugh
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema is a cumulative rhyme about a boy named Ki-pat who lives on Kapiti Plain. There has been a terrible drought in Kapiti Plain and the Ki-pat’s cows are very thirsty and hungry. There is a black rain cloud in the sky and they desperately need the rain from it. Ki-pat sees that something needs to be done and takes an eagle feather fell from the sky and makes an arrow. He saves the day by shooting the arrow into the rain cloud and pierces it causing ...more
Mary Jo
The text connection I made in Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema was a text-to-self connection. A text-to-self connection happens when a passage from the story reminds you of something about yourself, when you can relate to a character in the story or if anything in the story reminds you of a particular moment in your own life. When I was younger, I was terrified of thunderstorms. I remember wishing desperately that I could have some magical power that allowed me to control the s ...more
Oct 19, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This picture book is written as a lyrical poem and follows a shepard named Ki-pat who lives in the Kapiti plain. This book is great to expand your collection with a story that takes place in Africa and follows a black main character. The story seems to take place somewhere in the Sahel, where rains are seasonal and a major concern for the residence, both animals and humans so is good to use in addition with lesson on geography, weather and science. The illustrations are vivid with color and feat ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jun 06, 2011 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Patricia Wilson
Mar 17, 2012 Patricia Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 19, 2012 Neelam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wouldn’t have picked up and read this book, if it wasn’t for my nephew. It was diversity week at his school and they were discovering different cultures, and his class were looking at Africa.

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain is a type of folktale for children as young as 5/6. It has a straight forward beautiful natural rhythm and each line compliments the next, and story reflects parts of the African culture. The book begins with the great Kapiti plain which is green from the African rains. Th
Emily Allen
Apr 20, 2013 Emily Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 18, 2012 Rosalinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Laken Doom
Oct 24, 2012 Laken Doom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: traditional
"Bringing the rain to Kapiti Plain" was a Nandi traditional tale written by Verna Aardema and illustrated by Beatriz Vidal. This was a very colorful book for children that I personally think all ages will enjoy. The book tells the story of a boy watching his cattle and how their plains have been deprived of water. When a large cloud is over the plains he believes it i his responsibility to help make it rain! The story is very upbeat and repetitive which would be helpful for younger students. I w ...more
Andrea Wickenhagen
Dec 02, 2013 Andrea Wickenhagen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Bright and beautiful illustrations fill the pages within the book. Verna Aardema gives her readers the pleasure of learning of an African Folktale. On the Kapiti Plain in Africa the meadows are bright and beautifully green, wild life roams the land, until one day the rain stops coming and things begin to turn dry and dead. A big black cloud shadows the plains. The folktale is about a man names Ki-pat that watching his herd as he stands on one leg like a big stork bird. Until an eagle drops a fea ...more
I love this rhyming and repetitive story - perfect for KS1 as a nice book to share when thinking about habitats and also great for KS2 stories from another culture. I use it as a talk for writing text with my Year 5 class who enjoy finding out about Kenya, the different tribes and then writing their own stories. It works really well with the video The Catch, another story from a different culture, which you can find on
Oct 22, 2013 Mason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: traditional
Verna Aardema's "Bringing The Rain To Kapiti Plain" is a great traditional picture book for elementary aged readers. The story is told in a poetic fashion with rhyming, melodic passages. The story is about how an African herder brought rain to the Kapiti Plain. The story builds upon itself and repeats many of the sentences multiple times- about the dark cloud, cows, etc. This would be a fun book for younger readers, and a good way to learn to read. Beatriz Vidal's illustrations are magnificent t ...more
I believe Reading Rainbow did for me as a child what Wishbone did for me as a teen--recommend some wonderful books when I had no idea what to read. And as the recommendations were good, the books became dear to my heart. This one, read by James Earl Jones, is one I could listen to over and over again.

6/18/14: I wanted to use this in my Preschool Weather theme, but I worried it would be too long. And not sure how well I would read the repeated words out loud, especially when I hear in my mind Mr.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 80 81 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Link to James Earl Jones Reading 1 33 Jul 08, 2008 10:01AM  
  • We All Went On Safari
  • The Paper Crane
  • Beatrice's Goat
  • The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush
  • Mama Panya's Pancakes: A Village Tale from Kenya
  • Owen and Mzee: The Language of Friendship
  • A Story, a Story
  • Papa, Do You Love Me?
  • I Lost My Tooth In Africa
  • Jambo Means Hello: Swahili Alphabet Book
  • Zomo the Rabbit: A Trickster Tale from West Africa
  • Dancing in the Wings
  • A Mama for Owen
  • Follow the Drinking Gourd
  • Barefoot: Escape On The Underground Railroad
  • Liang and the Magic Paintbrush
  • Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock
  • Daisy Comes Home
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...

Share This Book