Books & Literature

Book Review: Thank You Rain! by Sally Morgan and Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr

PICTURE BOOK: Another simple, universal story from Sally Morgan and Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr, this time, a beautifully illustrated celebration of rain.

A beautiful celebration of the rainy season in Northern Australia.

Thank You Rain! is the third book from Sally Morgan & Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr, the first two being Little Bird’s Day andThe River.

Sally Morgan is one of Australia’s best-known authors and artists. She belongs to the Palyku people from the eastern Pilbara region of Western Australia. Her first book, My Place, was critically acclaimed and is one of Australia’s most beloved children’s picture books. Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr is a Yolŋu man from the Ganalbingu clan and is known for his paintings of Ganalbingu song lines and his mother’s Wägilak clan stories. He keeps his culture strong through painting, song, dance, and ceremony.

Thank You Rain! is a simple story celebrating rain, which many of us often take for granted. The stunning illustrations using cross-hatching perfectly depict the rainy season in Australia and the joy experienced by both animals and man when the rains eventually come.  The countryside begins as a brown colour and by the end of the book, everything has turned green. The story has a strong feeling of the tropics in northern Australia.

We can almost hear the sound of the rain with the pitter-patter, splish-splosh, drip-drop and plink-plonk. The wildflowers, which only bloom when the rains come, are beautiful. Animals searching for a drop of water to drink at the beginning are almost dancing with joy at the end. We see fish leaping from the creek beds, brolgas dancing, and birds singing.

This story would make an excellent addition to any library, home, or school, and would be great to use in the classroom when teaching about weather, Australian animals, or the environment and its changes through the seasons. Children could also try their hand at writing their own prose or poetry expressing their feelings about rain. They could use their own style to depict how the rain makes them feel.  

Sally Morgan’s story is simple and definitely gets the point across, but it is the illustrations by Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr which really bring this stunning land to life.

Reviewed by Sue Mauger

This review is the opinion of the reviewer and not necessarily of Glam Adelaide.

Distributed by: Magabala Books
Released: September 2022
RRP: $24.99

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