Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
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Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  920 ratings  ·  98 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
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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!
Emilie Bonnie
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...more
Shanna Gonzalez
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
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Jan 13, 2009 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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 :)
Megan Sanchez
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
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.
Mar 01, 2010 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
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
This book is told in rhyme, paralleling "The House That Jack Built" in format, and works as a cumulative story based on a story from the Nandi tradition. The plot is simple: a drought has come, the animals are thirsty, and Ki-Pat fires an arrow into a cloud, causing rain. However, the imagery of the book works together beautifully, and illustrations, which are bright, engaging, slightly child-like, and yet at times remarkably detailed, aid greatly to the picturebook experience. The end notes exp...more
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...more
Patricia Wilson
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
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...more
Emily Allen
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...more
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...more
Laken Doom
"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
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
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....more
Based on a story collected in Kenya, Africa by Sir Claud Hollis which he called 'The Nandi House that Jack Built', this tale was adapted by author Verna Aardema in rhyming couplets with "a cumulative refrain" that makes it a rewarding challenge when read aloud.

The illustrations by Beatriz Vidal are delightfully colorful and full of accurate depictions of Africa flora and fauna. While it gets a bit dull color-wise in the middle of the book, this is coupled with the plot of the story and adds to...more
I really like this story because of the intricate, beautiful rhyme/repetition scheme Aardema uses throughout the story. I thought at the end of the story about the popular Christmas song "The 12 Days of Christmas" and how each line repeats back to the first line. The story is basically about a drought in this plains region of Africa, and the response the herder, Ki-Pat, has when his "Kapiti Plain" and the animals and grass that is a part of the plain is under a huge, dark rain cloud. This is a r...more
Verna Aardema won a Caldecott for “Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears,” which was illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. In this book (one of my favorites!) she retells another traditional African tale. "Bringing the Rain" was originally told in Kenya and was recorded by an English anthropologist who claimed it reminded him of “The House That Jack Built.” Ardema uses the form of the cumulative refrain to tell of the distress caused to humans, land, and animals when the rainy season is late. The...more
I loved this book, I first heard it in elementary school, and then as a child on Reading Rainbow. James Earl Jones narrated. His voice was so soothing, and it complimented so beautifully with the exquisite colors of the gorgeous book. I felt how parched the earth was, and how badly it needed the rain. This book is high on my childhood favorites.
Maricela Rivera
Great book! This rich retelling of an African folktale is written in rhythmic verse. When reading this book out loud, you naturally develop the proper voice intonation to capture student’s attention. As the author tells the story of how a drought came to an end, she uses a building pattern and a rhyming scheme to draw the reader into the story. The illustrations depict the life on the African plains. It exposes students to an African storytelling tradition and gives them a glimpse into the impor...more
Anissa Saenz-Ochoa
I loved this book! It has great rhyme and is a great read when you want to teach kids about weather, folktales, or rhyme schemes. I read this to my preschool class and they had me read it over and over again throughout the week. This is definitely a book for any classroom library.
I found this a cute and poetic book. In my mind there are two types of children's books. The first ones, the parent feels nauseated and wishes it would hurry up and the second batch...they enjoy as much or maybe even more than the kids. This one is a second batch for me.
Holly Heuglin
"Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain: A Nandi Tale," retold by Verna Aaardema is a picture book based on an old African folk tale. The storyline follows a thunderstorm in the Kapiti Plain. The story is told in a poetic form, and is very repetitive so children will love how sing-songy it is, and describes the animals, the plain, and the sky. The pictures are very detailed and drawn with what looks like colored pencil, and display an array of colors throughout the pages. I would recommend reading th...more
I read this at first school when I was little and stumbled across it on amazon. I was unsure whether my daughter would like this, but she enjoyed the repetitive rhyming of the book and has asked me to read it again. Overall, a positive response :)
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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
More about Verna Aardema...
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears Borreguita and the Coyote (Reading Rainbow Books) Who's in Rabbit's House?: A Masai Tale Anansi Does The Impossible!: An Ashanti Tale The Lonely Lioness and the Ostrich Chicks: A Masai Tale

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