By Anders Holmer
(For readers in Preschool–3rd Grade)
In April, the BK Story Voyager Book Pick celebrates poetry month and the promise of spring with Rain by Anders Holmer. Rain is a series of vignettes written in the haiku poetic form (composed of three lines: the first having five syllables, the second having seven syllables, and the last having five syllables). Through this restrictive yet elegant format Holmer weaves a tale of cultural diversity and complex topics and takes his readers on a journey around the world, each vignette connected by a motif of rain.
Rain‘s haikus function as meditations on the power that nature has around the world. In one illustration a team of horses are running through a field of flowers, three are being ridden with one of the riders looking at their cell phone. The haiku reads: “Hooves thunder above / moles digging underground, and / Grandma is calling”. Holmer juxtaposes rural life (horseback riding) with modern life (technology). In another example one page reads “Half-awake and drenched, / a beetle stands guard in the/ middle of the path.” The illustration depicts a group of people climbing a hill with llamas, as one young girl stops when she sees a beetle in her tracks. In every corner of the page, the meaning of the story is further revealed.
Rain is a wonderful April read that allows children to think about nature and to embrace the poetic form of haikus. Once finished your child will understand this form and can be encouraged to experiment with writing their own!