Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rain School


by James Rumford
Houghton Mifflin, 2010. Unpaged. Picture Book.

Another lovely, evocative picture book in James Rumford's canon of books about Middle Eastern and African lands and peoples, in this case, Chad. Thomas is surprised when he arrives at the schoolyard to find no school there. "It doesn't matter. There is a teacher. 'We will build our school,' she says. 'This is our first lesson.'" After the children build their school with a wooden frame, adobes, and thatch, they begin to learn letters, geography, math, and science. When the school year ends the rainy season comes and the school is washed away. Next year Thomas will help the younger children build a new school and all will begin their book-learning again. Rumford's simple story and beautiful, warm illustrations convey not only the love of the children and their teacher for each other, but for learning.

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