Don’t Rain on My Parade!

Between Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s day, there are a lot of parades in St. Louis in March. Join in the fun with these picture books.

The Rain Stomper  Addie Boswell

Jazmin is all set to twirl her baton in the big parade, but is let down when thunder and rain rumble into town. Instead of wallowing in her disappointment, Jazmin rolls with the rhythms of pounding rain and crashing thunder to become the “Rain Stomper”. The illustrations and graphics in The Rain Stomper are terrific. The muted colors mirror Jazmin’s initial dreary mood, but the oversized “kerplunk”, “boom”, “walla”, and “crash” graphics enliven the pages with a stormy rhythm.

Max Found Two Sticks  Brian Pinkney

With inspiration from sounds in the neighborhood, such as chiming church bells, fluttering pigeon wings, and clanging train tracks, Max uses two fallen sticks to drum on pails, cans, and bottles. His musical efforts are noticed by a passing marching band drummer. This book offers a lot of opportunities for participation. When I use this book, I sometimes bring two sticks with me, and encourage listeners to take turns doing “drum solos” on the floor.

Paper Parade   Sarah Weeks

When the needs of a little girl’s baby brother prevent her from participating in the parade outside, she immerses herself in paper crafting and eventually dozes off. In her dreams, she is the leader of her own fantastic paper parade, with mermaids, pandas in bumper cars, and cello-playing bears. In the end, her creative expression helps her make amends with her kid brother. Like The Rain Stomper, and Max Found Two Sticks, the text of this book echoes the rhythm of a parade–many of the words in Paper Parade begin with the fun-to-say prefix “tickity”. The illustrations are entirely made with paper, which may inspire kids to make their own paper parades.

Other ideas for a parade theme:

  • Listen to marching band music from the library, such as music by John Phillips Sousa .
  • Request toy musical instruments from the library’s toy collection, and fashion your own parade .
  • Wear hats!

–Brian Novak

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