Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Alma Fullerton
Illustrator: Kim La Fave
Publisher: Pajama Press
In Malini’s small agricultural village, a successful rice crop means food and stability for the community. This year, it is Malini’s turn to learn to plant the rice seedlings. Caught in a flash flood, Malini must face tempestuous winds and rising water to ensure the safety of the ox-cart filled with rice seedlings to be planted. Braving the elements, Malini manages to guide the ox to her father’s barn, saving the village crop in the process.
Told in free verse from Malini’s point of view, this tale reveals the coming-of-age of a young Sri Lankan girl. A note at the back of the book explains more about life in Sri Lanka, the importance of rice as a staple food, and the two monsoon seasons which affect the area. Readers unfamiliar with this small country would likely benefit from reading the note first to provide context for the story. Poignantly written, When The Rain Comes provides insight into the diversity of life through Malini’s weighty struggle to ensure prosperity for her community in the coming year.