Cover image for Come on, rain!
Come on, rain!
Hesse, Karen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 24 x 27 cm
A young girl eagerly awaits a coming rainstorm to bring relief from the oppressive summer heat.
Reading Level:
AD 780 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.6 0.5 30845.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.9 2 Quiz: 16714 Guided reading level: P.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Central Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Clarence Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Frank E. Merriweather Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Frank E. Merriweather Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Audubon Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Frank E. Merriweather Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse recreates the body and soul-renewing experience of a summer downpour after a sweltering city heat wave.

Author Notes

Karen Hesse (born on August 29, 1952 Baltimore, Maryland) is an American author of children's literature and literature for young adults. She studied theatre at Towson State College, and finished her undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland in English, Psychology, and Anthropology. In 1998 she won the Newbery Medal for her young adult novel, Out of the Dust.

Hesse lives in Vermont with her husband and two teen-aged daughters.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-7. The author of the Newbery award^-winning Out of the Dust turns her attention to a younger audience as she writes again about the burning sun and a parched landscape. In languid blank verse, she conjures vivid pictures of a city in the throes of sweltering heat. Loving Tessie, who is not above playing a trick on her mom, spots the gray clouds first, "bunched and bulging under a purple sky." She spreads the word, and what welcome news it is. Soon Tessie and a multiethnic cast of friends, in bathing suits, are "squealing and whooping in the streaming rain," as are their mothers, who throw off their stockings and shoes and join their daughters to the beat of the rain that "has made us new." The text is strong and lyrical but still accessible to children, and Muth, who has fittingly chosen watercolor as the medium, perfectly catches the hazy yellows and grays of a stormy sky and a cityscape bathed in heat and downpour. His work, however, seems uneven. Some of his pictures are vibrant and alive with feeling--Tessie's mama, cooling herself with a glass of ice tea pressed to her chest, hands reaching up as if to grab the drops. Others, however, seem almost cartoonish. Then there's the old Victrola, an anachronistic touch that, though certainly charming, confuses the book's sense of place and time. But the joy and love at the heart of the story shine through all the same. They make the book a delight to share, especially as a mother-daughter read-aloud. --Stephanie Zvirin

Publisher's Weekly Review

"Up and down the block,/ cats pant,/ heat wavers off tar patches in the broiling alleyway./ Miz Grace and Miz Vera bend, tending beds of drooping lupines," as a whole neighborhood waits for rain. The narrator, Tessie, is the first one to see the "clouds rolling in,/ gray clouds, bunched and bulging under a purple sky," and she engineers a joyful rain dance with her three friends, Jackie-Joyce, Liz and Rosemary. The long-sought rain "freckles our feet, glazes our toes./ We turn in circles,/ glistening in our rain skin." According to Hesse's bio on the jacket flap, this text contains her initial exploration of motifs used first in her Newbery Medal-winning novel, Out of the Dust. With poetic and immediate language, she again captures the cleansing experience of rainfall after a long dry spell. In an auspicious debut, Muth's illustrations showcase an impressive range of perspectives, from the opening urban skyline to the subtle indication of the oncoming storm in the ruffling of a curtain to the girls' view looking up at their mothers from where they're dancing in the street. His inventive design sense and use of watercolors‘smudges of shadow, glistening sidewalks and foggy city-scapes‘are remarkable. This is an impressive tribute to those experiences that leave us "purely soothed,/ fresh as dew,/ turning toward the first sweet rays of the sun." Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-It's summer in the city and a three-week drought has made the heat nearly unbearable. Skinny little Tessie whispers her prayer, "Come on, rain!" longing for the shower that will break the heat and bring her mother's parched garden back to life. Seeking relief, the girl asks permission to wear her bathing suit, but an "Absolutely not" from Mamma keeps her looking for something to do. Like a blessing, she spies clouds off in the distance. Knowing that her mother will be easier to convince with help from a friend, Tessie runs off to her pal Jackie-Joyce's. "It's going to rain," she whispers. "Put on your suit and come straight over." Tessie returns home to fix her mother a much-needed iced tea, and with the perfect timing of a well-laid plan, Jackie-Joyce arrives along with the rain. As hoped, Mamma changes her mind about the suit and the girls run off to join two friends for a romp in the deliciously refreshing summer rain. To their daughters' delight, all four "...barelegged mammas dance down the steps..." and join in a spontaneous dance of relief and celebration. Muth's deceptively simple, muted watercolors capture the stifling city summer heat as well as a young girl's determination to keep it from ruining all her fun. Hesse's poetically crafted, perceptive text skips delightfully along with its own perfect rhythm. Lyrically written and lovingly illustrated, this is one you'll want to share over and over again.-Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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