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Traditions and a Folktale about Drought and Rain

Tuesdays are 'TWOSdays' here on Myth Aunty, when I share two books that I connect for different reasons.

Today’s books are:

BRINGING THE RAIN TO KAPITI PLAIN BY Verna Aardema, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal

MAARI - A GIFT FROM THE SKIES by Anusha Veluswamy, illustrated by Shruti Hemani and published by Little Dipper Publishing.

When I read ‘Maari - a gift from the skies’ by Anusha Veluswamy, my mind immediately jumped to an old favourite ‘Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain’ by Verna Aardema.

What appeals to me about both books is that they draw from traditions of old.

Aardema draws from an old Nandi folktale to tell the story in cumulative, rhythmic style, of a young herder, Ki-pat who tries to figure a way he can end a dreadful drought to save the people and animals who live on Kapiti Plain.

In Maari, we travel to a rural Tamil Nadu village, also afflicted by drought. The people call on the rain goddess through traditional dance and music, praising her and appealing for rain and a bountiful harvest.

Both books deal with drought and migration. They can be extended to discuss topics like water…sources and as a shared resource, weather, kinds of clouds and ecosystems.

Wonderful to pair as we explore these topics in two different parts of the world, both drawing from tradition.

The story, the setting and the characters are absolutely atmospheric in both books, although in very different styles.

Beatriz Vidal’s illustrations vividly depict the African savannah in gentle, muted tones.

In Maari, Shruti Hemani’s illustrations are bright and bold, they lift the reader right out of their chair/beanbag/pouffe and drop them right into little Kanmani’s village.

They’ve obviously been drawn from Anusha’s beautiful, descriptive text.


This is why I chose to read aloud the last few pages to younger elementary children, without showing them the illustrations…asking them instead to ‘make their own pictures in their heads’.

They then transferred those images to paper. I love how each child picks up different bits of the text. Some concentrate on just one, others see tiny details.

Both beautiful, must read books.

Swipe to see the children’s work.


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