All I Want for Christmas is Rain, Cori Brooke (author), Megan Forward (illus.), New Frontier Publishing, November 2016.
Lyrically and visually captivating. A book with heart and soul. Essences of innocence and good nature. All I Want for Christmas is Rain captures a sensitive and heartwarming piece of an Australian Christmas for those in drought affected areas.
A little girl, Jane, lives on an outback farm with her family. Unfortunately it has been achingly dry and brown for some time, in much need of rain. Jane selflessly seizes the opportunity and requests to the wish-granting, bearded man himself, not toys or material things, but a downpour on their dams and pastures. An invigorating, splashing celebration completes this story with dams, and hearts, overflowing with joy and life.
With a rhythmic narrative that exudes hope, belief and altruism, and illustrations of fluidity and depth, this book beautifully represents the trust in magic at Christmas time. I adore the authenticity of this dry, outback situation matched remarkably with the graininess of the earth tones, and then the gloriousness of the mud splashes when it finally rains.
A neat storyline of a deeply important issue, along with its stunning illustrations, makes All I Want for Christmas is Rain a valuable gift to capture the hearts of all its readers.
Read the title. Why might this person want rain for Christmas?
What does the cover tell us about where she might live? What does the word ‘drought’ mean?
What kinds of gifts might be more important / special than toys for Christmas?
Do you think these kind of gifts are attainable? What things might you do to obtain these?
How do you think the girl’s wish came true?
Do you think Santa made it rain?
Why was it important for Jane to have rain for their farm?
How do you think the family felt when it rained on Christmas Day?
What does it mean by ‘the life-giving gift’?
How does a drought affect farms and farmers? Did you notice how the rain helped the farm at the end?
– Write a letter to Santa asking for a gift that will help your community. Why is it important?
– Make a rhyming cloud and rain hanging mobile. With the word ‘rain’ in the cloud, hang rhyming words written on each raindrop. Eg. train, brain, drain, grain, main, pain, Jane, and so on.
– Chance and Probability.
Discuss the possibilities of receiving different things for Christmas. Eg. What is the likelihood of receiving a life-size aeroplane for Christmas? What is the chance of receiving a Christmas card? What is the possibility of receiving the moon for Christmas? Use the terms ‘likely’, ‘unlikely’, ‘impossible’. Write and illustrate.
– Number. Count the rain.
Much like the rhyming mobile above, write a number in a cloud. With cut out raindrops or other materials, count the same number of objects to match the written number. Extension: add two number clouds together, show the materials in two groups and add to find the total.
Build a Christmas tree using nature objects from outdoors. Eg. Sticks, twigs, rocks, leaves, etc. How will you get it to stand tall on its own? Design and experiment.
Make a cloud in a jar. Materials include a jar, hot water, hairspray, ice cubes. See instructions at No Time For Flash Cards.
– Make a rain gauge to measure rainfall. Materials include jar, piece of wood, waterproof glue, watercolour paint, ruler. Instructions at Craft Create Calm.
Visual Arts / Technology:
– Construct your own rain stick. Fill a large tube with rice, beads, or other small materials. Decorate. Example from Buggy and Buddy here.
– Paint a splashy picture with water colours and real mud!
– Make Christmas tree ornaments with items from nature. Eg. Painted gumnuts, stick and tanbark reindeer, leaf Santa, etc. Be creative! Check out the Pinterest board for Nature Crafts.
Lessons by Romi Sharp, BECS, Dip.Ed (Primary).
© My Little Story Corner 2016.
All sourced resources have been credited. These lessons are for personal and classroom use only and are not permitted for commercial use without written consent.
This post contains affiliate links to Boomerang Books.
This review and lesson plans are not paid and are my own educated opinion.
Purchase All I Want for Christmas is Rain.