Review Blog

Nov 09 2016

All I want for Christmas is rain by Cori Brooke

cover image

Ill. by Megan Forward. New Frontier, 2016. ISBN 9781925059717
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Christmas. Drought. Generosity. Giving. What a stunning picture book this is. The verse story tells the tale of a young girl Jane who looks out at the drought stricken farm that her family is trying to make a living from, and decides that there is only one thing that she wants for Christmas - and that is rain. She comes up with a plan to ask the man with a beard for rain for Christmas when she goes into town.
Children will be very familiar with a countryside stricken by drought, whether they live in the city or in the bush, and Megan Forward's evocative brown water colour washes bring to life the awful nature of drought. Everything is dusty and the animals are bony and desperate looking. There is no water in the dams and stock has to be hand fed. By following the pictures, children will get a clear picture of what it is like to live on a farm during a drought, and will learn about the heart-breaking jobs that face a farmer. But Jane is a resilient and hopeful child and asks Santa for the gift that her family needs the most - rain. The joy on the faces of everyone when her wish comes through is wonderful to see.
The rhyming story will be great for adults to read aloud to children, and an astute teacher will be able to bring about much discussion about presents and what gift giving really means at Christmas time, and the generous and meaningful wish that Jane makes. If a study of drought is being made in the classroom this would be a boon in presenting what it is like to live on a drought-stricken farm.
This is a truly uplifting Australian picture book about Christmas and I highly recommend it for libraries and classrooms as well as for families at home.
Pat Pledger

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