A cumulative rhyme relating how Ki-pat brought rain to the drought-stricken Kapiti Plain. Verna Aardema has brought the original story closer to the English nursery rhyme by putting in a cumulative refrain and giving the tale the rhythm of “The House That Jack Built.”
Verna Aardema (1911-2000) was a highly acclaimed storyteller and the author of many books of African folktales. Her book, Who’s in Rabbit’s House?, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, was an ALA Notable Children’s Book and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, 1977. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, also illustrated by the Dillons, was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1976 and was chosen as an ALA Notable Children’s Book, as was a third Aardema-Dillon collaboration, Behind the Back of the Mountain.