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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

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  2,008 Ratings  ·  166 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.”
Paperback, 32 pages
Published May 20th 1992 by Puffin Books (first published 1981)
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Apr 23, 2010 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 03, 2009 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 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 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
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was on Reading Rainbow, when I was little. Then, my Mom bought it. Later, it was lost.

One day, I was helping the librarian clean out books that were no longer used… Right after she told me I could have any book, this one popped up.

I took it home and read it aloud to my daughter. I remembered correctly. The beautiful words pop off the page and out of the reader’s mouth so crisply, it’s as if I am also standing in the field, in Africa. 🐘☀
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
Betty Ortega
Aug 31, 2016 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 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 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 educatio ...more
Lisa Vegan
Dec 02, 2008 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
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 pla ...more
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
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!
Megan M
Nov 25, 2012 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 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 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
Dec 15, 2013 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.
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves-childhood
A favorite as a child to have read to me and to read. I still remember James Earl Jones reading it on Reading Rainbow.
Jo Oehrlein
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A Kenyan folk-tale re-worked in the style of "The House that Jack Built".

The rhymes roll off the tongue, which is good because you'll say most of them quite a few times by the end.

Based on the assumption that firing an arrow into a storm cloud causes the cloud to release its rain.

For another African folk tale, try pairing with Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale.

For another book about Kenya, pair with Wangari Maathia: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book told the story of a drought on Kapiti Plain. It described the interaction between the character Ki-pat, who with the help from his animals were able to bring rain back to the plain and restore the green grass and luscious resources.
This book rhymed which I thought was nice. It also had a repetitive touch like the song 12 days of Christmas. As more happened in the story, they author repeated the rhyme that was previously read.
I thought this was a nice book, that was interested and ple
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile, picture-books, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain features rhyming lines that build upon themselves with each page, connecting the current piece of information with prior pieces of information. With a unique illustration style featuring earthy tones, the book teaches cause and effect without being heavy-handed. Author Verna Aardema has a catalog of work based on African folktales. This is a fine example of her work with challenging opportunities for the audience to identify different animals and receive an intr ...more
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has beautiful and colorful illustrations. It also has rhyming words throughout and does a repeating pattern to add onto the story. I think children would catch on to the story pretty quick and the repeating pattern.

The story has one main charcter that solves the problem of the rain to help out the plain, which is the setting of the book.

I gave this book a rating of five stars because I loved the story line. I really liked the rhyming words and the repeating pattern throughout the boo
Madison Dragonas
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was very eduational. Not only did it talk about how important the rain is to the environment. It also hit on the fact that the rain is important to the animals as well. Without the rain, we have no water, and the grass starts to die. When the grass starts to die, the animals have nothing to eat. If the animals have nothing to eat, they can't gain weight, so when the humans need to use them as food, they aren't as helpful. Overall a very good read.
Caroline Ackerman
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lis510, traditional
I have such fond memories of being read this book when I was a kid, and I love it just as much now as I did then. This charming telling of a Nandi folktale brings us the story of Ki-Pat, a cowherd who, desperate to feed the starving cows in his draught-stricken pasture, pierces the big black cloud in the sky with an eagle feather arrow. The cloud bursts, unleashing the rain and thunder on the plain beneath. The cows grow healthy and fat again, and Ki-Pat marries and has a son who goes on to tend ...more
Bookworm's Nemesis
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Started the local library reading list for kids ages 3-5. This was the first alphabetically on the list. Fun story to read to my little one about how the dry lands needed rain to help the plains and cows grow.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Nicely illustrated rhyming story.
Elizabeth Thigpen
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This would be a great multicultural tool to introduce African stories and vocabulary to students. It has rich pictures and a deep plot that preserves the African culture
Nov 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a cumulative poem, so it's repetitive by nature. The rhythm works well.

I like the illustration style, particularly for the animals.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Perfect, imaginative verse.
I do not care for cumulative tales. The only one I enjoy is This Is the House That Jack Built. Everything seems like knock-offs. As does this one.
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
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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...