Follow the Rainbow
Juliet M. Sampson
Ford Street, 2023
32pp., pbk., RRP $A17.95
Ruby and her little dog Tavish are idling away a beautiful sunny day, fascinated by the patterns and pictures she finds in the clouds drifting overhead. There’s a fairy with a wand, a witch with a broom and a wizard with a cape…
“I wonder what else might live in the sky,” Ruby muses as raindrops begin to fall and her dreaming is interrupted. As she heads for home, a rainbow appears and that sparks her curiosity too. “I wonder what’s at the end of the rainbow.” But when she asks the Scarecrow in the field, he has nothing to say and neither does Metal Man in the shed. Even Lion left in the barn after milking doesn’t answer and so Ruby and Tavish decide to find out for themselves…
This is a story just ripe for sharing and exploring in so many directions – just as Ruby finds wonder in the clouds and the rainbow, so too do so many children and so there is a great opportunity to develop a rainbow of questions about clouds, rainbows, weather and colours to explore. Each question might even be written on colourful paper and put together in a rainbow-shaped collage, just as those in the illustrations have been done, leading to all sorts of observations about colour and shape as each child finds just the right piece to add.
Then there are the obvious links to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz , both book and movie, that can open up new reading horizons while the iconic song, Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland or Emerald City by The Seekers suggest artworks full of imagination and colour.
And if those ideas don’t appeal, perhaps just take your little one outside and do some cloud watching together.