Award-winning author and illustrator James Rumford taught school with his wife, Carol, in Chad. One day, in the middle of the rainy season, they came upon the mud ruins of the town's primary school. Many years later, the memory of that school and the desire of Chadians to get an education no matter the obstacles gave birth to Rain School.
"While serving as a Peace Corps volunteer, Rumford was a teacher in Chad, and the authentic details illuminate the spare text and beautiful artwork. On double-page spreads, the colored-pencil, ink, and pastel images echo the words' elemental rhythms as they contrast golden-hued portraits of the children happily learning with dark, rain-drenched scenes of the school disappearing. The building eventually vanishes, but "it doesn't matter. The letters have been learned and taken away by the children."...Without a heavy message, this spare and moving offering will leave kids thinking about the daily lives of other young people around the world." (Booklist, starred review)"