The Rain Came Down: read and play

We have had a glorious week of Spring weather.

But all good things come to an end, and rain is forecast for tomorrow.

So, it seemed a good time to read The Rain Came Down.

written and illustrated by David Shannon
published by Blue Sky Press (2000)
themes:  cause and effect, rain/weather
amusing reading for ages 4 - 8

beginning lines
On Saturday morning the rain came down.  
It made the chickens squawk.  
The cat yowled at the chickens, and the dog barked at the cat. 
And still, the rain came down.

A summer storm provokes a series of unpleasant interactions. From the chickens, cat, and dog whose squabbling results in a man yelling and waking the baby to an altercation between shopkeepers and an eventual traffic tie-up, the rain sets off a chain reaction of misunderstandings, mishaps, and messes. Yet when the rain suddenly stops and a rainbow appears, folks find ways to mend fences and make the best of things.  -- School Library Journal

why I like this book
The text is simple and straightforward while creating the feeling of noise, chaos and general grumpiness.  My students liked the refrain, "And still the rain came down" tying the story together.  What really captured their attention were the illustrations.  

Booklist writes: "Wild, detailed street scenes, filled with richly drawn characters and shifting perspectives, show the absurdity and humor in each incident that contributes to the larger chaos."  Five year olds seem to enjoy a connection with the absurd, and find it, literally, roll on the floor laughing, kind of funny.  

As we read the The Rain Came Down, we counted how many people and critters had rain induced grumpiness.  We counted 19.  We also counted one person who was enjoying the rain; a boy who was chasing a small boat down a stream in the gutter.   

We get a fair bit of rain here.  Very little snow in the winter, but a lot of rain.  It really does not do to get grumpy every time it rains.  You might as well embrace it.  

We made a list of fun things to do in the rain.
  • splash in puddles
  • play with water toys outside
  •  fill a bucket with raindrops
  •  catch raindrops on your tongue
  •  dance in the rain
  •  make an action movie with a rain scene
  •  have an umbrella parade
  •  enjoy hot chocolate when you come back inside
As well as enjoying the rain, rain can also inspire art.  

A tour of my school hallway, showed some umbrellas between the spring pictures.

kindergarten fly away umbrella

umbrella art by grade 6 and 7 students

grab a fun pair of rubber boots and play in a puddle



  1. This is a book I haven't seen before. Looks like a great one to add to my weather unit. And I loved the umbrella art!
    The Meek Moose

    1. It's one of David Shannon's (of No David fame) lesser known books. And would be great as part of a weather unit.


  2. I haven't seen this one before, but I love David Shannon, and this book sounds like one lots of kids would enjoy! Thanks for sharing, Sandi, and I love all the rainbow umbrellas :)

  3. Such a cute book. I haven't seen it either.
    The rain has stopped again though. Yay! It was sunny for our trip to the nursery today:)
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  4. The artwork looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

  5. We also get tons of rain! I love it. Have you heard of the book Yellow Umbrella? It is a wordless book with umbrellas traveling through the rain.

    Chickadee Jubilee


Back to Top