Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and David Litchfield. The publisher offered a free download – click here. See what illustrator David Litchfield Illustration has to say about his latest publication:

“Drawing this book was a complete joy. The emotion that comes through Smriti’s poetic writing is really powerful and it was a very happy challenge to try and translate that visually within the illustrations. There are many messages that this book contains. What stands out most for me personally is the idea that the journey that the girl and her Fox friend find themselves on is obviously really tough and really scary, but they keep going. They keep holding on to hope. I completely loved that idea when I first started drawing the book all those months ago, and I absolutely love it now as I sit here writing this note. In fact, the idea of ‘Hope over Fear’ is one of the reasons the Fox looks the way it does. No matter how dark and terrifying things might get, the pattern on Fox’s fur will be a constant reminder of the light and natural beauty that exists in the world.

For the past few months a lot of you have been drawing your own rainbows and displaying them on your windows. I have loved seeing some of these on my daily walks. They always remind me of all the brave people in the world. They also remind me of the Girl and her magic Fox and the journey that they had together. Hope over Fear. Rain Before Rainbows.”

Sandie: Peritextual Features

Front cover: The main characters are at the end of a rainbow, so it presents the end of the story. Ask the children how they got there. Notice the fox is filled with leaves and twigs
Endpapers : These suggest a passing of time. Front endpapers are dark and foreboding, the beginning of the story. The back endpapers are bright and sunny suggesting a happy hopeful end.
Title page: Read the psalm (if appropriate to your context) on the copyright page, as it has significance for interpreting the story. 
Notice how the colour scheme moves from dark to light as the book progresses

Tatia: Teacher Education

Considering different features of the picturebook such as the way David Lichtfield creates light.


Gail: Multiliteracies

Literary literacy:  identifying and predicting rhyming words and rhythm, developing phonological awareness, recognising collocations and processes.
Emotional literacy: identifying emotions and feelings by reading facial expressions and plotting the cycle of emotions as the story unfolds.
Visual literacy:  recognising how colour is used to depict changes in mood and atmosphere.
Nature literacy:  noticing details in the illustrations – animals, plants, trees, seasons and changes in landscapes and in the weather.

Annete: Notes from the Classroom

Language focus: Speaking, feelings vocabulary (when I am (feeling) I feel (colour). Introducing before and after, based on a book Before After, by Anne Margot Ramstein & Matthias Aregui.
Personal and social education: Talking about personal ‘hopes and worries’ and ‘treasures to find’.
The rainbow of feelings – we are all different, different things make us feel happy, angry, or sad.
Using end papers to “read” the atmosphere of the picture and naming the feelings it evokes.