BOOK: RAIN SCHOOL
AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR: JAMES RUMFORD
PUBLISHER: HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT PUBLISHING
AGE RECOMMENDED: 4+
It takes a village to build a school. Rain School is a poignant narrative that illuminates the obstacles children encounter in their pursuit of education and the remarkable endeavours individuals make to establish schools. The writer, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Chad Africa, derived inspiration from personal encounters to pen this book.
In Chad, the older students take on the role of guiding the younger ones when school starts. When Thomas, a curious boy, arrives at school, he is surprised to find that there are no classrooms or desks. The teacher hands out the trowels and announces that they will build the school together. They make mud bricks and construct a roof out of grass and saplings. Despite the unconventional learning environment, Thomas loves learning and discovers something new every day. By the end of the school year, the students are filled with knowledge. However, just as the rainy season approaches, the schoolhouse dissolves and they must start again in September.
The illustrations in the book beautifully capture the essence of African culture, portraying dark brown skin and colourful clothing against golden backdrops. The warm hues used in the illustrations bring the scenes to life, but as the rainy season arrives, the colours turn grey, effectively conveying the changing of the seasons.
Click Here To view the original picture of the school that inspired the author and paved the way for this beautiful book.
It’s essential that children reading this book pause and recognize the privilege of having educational access. They ought to express gratitude for their school and the various transportation options that enable them to reach their classrooms. Furthermore, it’s imperative to recognize the secure and comfortable learning environment provided to them.
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