Explore the thirty best rain books for early childhood. Parents and educators can share these books with early elementary students, preschoolers, toddlers, and babies. I happily recommend these rain books for your nature or weather book collection. Or skip purchasing and look for them at your local library.
How do you explain rain to preschoolers?
When clouds get overfilled with water, the water will fall in drops to the ground. This is rain! The books on this list can introduce rain and weather concepts to preschoolers.
Rain is part of the water cycle. All the water on our planet gets reused. It flows in rivers or sits in ponds and oceans. The water evaporates and enters the air as a gas. The gas gathers together into clouds. When the clouds get too heavy, the water falls to earth as rain, snow, or icy precipitation.
Learn about Rain
These rain books introduce concepts such as rain, weather, and the water cycle. Pull these books out on a rainy day, and children can observe the weather while learning.
By Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Chris Turnham
This may be a rain book, but Hello, Rain! is so darn cheerful. It’s pure joy with its poetry and charming illustration. The text is filled with descriptions of rain sounds that bring the story to life. Readers will enjoy the main character’s rainy adventure with her dog.
The Little Raindrop
By Joanna Gray, illustrated by Dubravka Kolanovic
A little raindrop character takes readers through the adventure of the water cycle. This rain book introduces STEM concepts such as weather, physics, and biology. Readers will discover how a single raindrop is part of rainbows and waterways. Personally, I adore the cozy, adorable illustrations in this story.
By Manya Stojic
Set in the African savanna, this story has bold illustrations and bold text. The animal characters excitedly pass along the news that rain. Is. COMING. Readers will get pulled into the loud, exciting text story. Along the way, they will learn about all the different sensory experiences of a rainstorm.
By Sally Lee
This rain book is perfect for introducing and explaining rain to early learners. Readers will enjoy this nonfiction book filled with real photographs. The final pages include a glossary and more resources to keep the rain learning going.
By Alvaro F. Villa
Sometimes rain and storms can have a giant impact on our lives. Flood is a wordless rain book that tells a powerful story about a natural disaster. This book shares about a family who has to evacuate and eventually rebuild because of a flood. The illustrations are breathtaking (and a little scary). But this rain book does have a happy, hopeful ending.
By Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Lisa Congdon
Something about this rain book makes you want to slow down and soak in the text. Rain presents a sweet, fun look at how nature and humans enjoy a rainy day. It’s easy to get lost in the happy setting of the park, garden, and cozy home.
I Like the Rain
By Sarah Nelson, illustrated by Rachel Oldfield
This bright, colorful book adds cheer to rainy weather. Each full-color page includes rhyming text to keep readers engaged. The book also contains discussion questions (and information) to keep the conversation going after the book ends. I Like the Rain is a wonderful balance of poetry and STEM.
Where Does Kitty Go in the Rain?
By Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Brigette Barrager
This nature book explores how different animals and bugs behave when it starts to rain. Read this children’s book two ways. Parents and educators can adapt the story to the age of the audience. Read the short, rhyming text on each page, or explore with informational text on the edge of the page. This book pairs perfectly with the book Worm Weather.
Rainy Day Adventures
Look, It’s Raining
By Mathieu Pierloot, illustrated by Maria Dek
Look, It’s Raining might be a rainy day story, but it’s also a plant-lover’s dream. Follow the main character on a rainy outdoor adventure and notice all the flowers, plants, and wildlife. Soon she’s following a trail of ants to see a “show.” This story will inspire kids to create their own adventures next time they are bored indoors.
By Daniel Miyares
This wordless rain book shares the story of a boy and his paper boat. The book is illustrated almost entirely in grayscale, with a few pops of colors. Readers can follow along as the main character has to turn his day around after a misadventure in the rain.
Chirri & Chirra: The Rainy Day
By Kaya Doi, translated by David Boyd
The Chirri & Chirra book series brings fairytale worlds to life. This time, follow the pair on a rainy day adventure. Discover upside-down rain and a mysterious “rainy day” shop. Follow along on a magical bicycle ride and get lost in the sweet, whimsical illustrations.
Singing in the Rain
By Tim Hopgood
Singing in the Rain takes a broadway song and turns it into a musical children’s book. The musical, rhyming lyrics introduce basic weather concepts. The colorful illustrations present opportunities to talk about the seasons and dressing for the weather.
By Sandra Markle, illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez
This multi-generational story was inspired by a real-life event – a massive toad migration. Our main character is disappointed about the rainy weather, but soon it’ll be a day to remember forever. Readers will learn about protecting wildlife and finding the wonder in nature. The painted illustrations in this book are so lifelike they look like photographs!
In the Rain
By Elizabeth Spurr, illustrated by Manelle Oliphant
In the Rain inspires early learners to get outside and play, even on rainy days. The main character stays busy playing in puddles and the mud, too. The text in this book is short, but the illustrations will spark plenty of conversations about weather and play.
Looking for more inspiration to get outside? Check out our favorite outdoor play quotes.
Social-Emotional Rain Books
The weather impacts our mood. A rainy day can leave us feeling gloomy and sad. Some rain lovers are content on cozy, grey days. These rain books help kids make the connection between their feelings and nature.
By Abi Cushman
This silly rain book follows a group of animal friends. The rainy weather is getting in the way of all bear’s favorite fun activities. Humorous illustrations push this story forward. The alliterative text keeps readers engaged. Follow along until the end of the book to find out if the grumpy bear can have some fun in the rain.
Come On, Rain!
By Karen Hesse, illustrated by Jon J. Muth
Come On, Rain! brings a different perspective than the other books on this list. After weeks of summer heat, the neighborhood is ready for some rain! The golden illustrations almost emit heat off the pages. When the skies finally pour, everyone takes to the streets to celebrate.
Raindrops to Rainbow
By John Micklos, illustrated by Charlene Chua
It’s okay to wish for sunnier skies on gloomy, rainy days. Raindrops to Rainbow shows readers how the weather affects our emotions. The rain book also gives children ideas for coping with those feelings. I love that the rhyming text in this book is full of sensory words. Plus, the illustrations are warm and charming.
The Big Umbrella
By Juniper Bates & Amy June Bates
The Big Umbrella is a rainy day story about kindness, inclusion, and diversity. On a gloomy day in the city, a red umbrella stretches to shelter all the beings (human and animal) who need it. Watch the umbrella’s smile grows each time it can help. Parents and educators can use this book to discuss weather, empathy, family, and community.
This Beautiful Day
By Richard Jackson, illustrated by Suzy Lee
From an illustrative standpoint, this book is one of my favorite children’s books. As the story builds, so do the colors. With each page turn, readers will watch the illustrations shift from black-and-white drawings to splashes of color to full-color pages. This rain book perfectly presents having a positive attitude, even on a rainy day.
A Beary Rainy Day
By Adam Ciccio, illustrated by Emilie Timmermans
A Beary Rainy Day is a lovely story for anyone feeling a little grumpy about the weather. Filled with enchanting illustrations, the book is a fun look at how different woodland animals handle the rain. Our main character, Wallow the Bear, just might eventually come around.
Sounds of Rain
The sound of rain falling can be very soothing. These rain books focus on the sensory experiences of a rainy day, especially the sounds. Adults and children will enjoy playing with the rain vocabulary in these books.
Who Likes Rain?
By Wong Herbert Yee
The fearless main character in Who Likes Rain? storms right out into the wet weather. Follow along as she explores all the sounds of her rainy surroundings. The playful rhymes make this story one of the most fun reads on this book list.
By Tim McCanna, illustrated by Richard Smythe
In Watersong, readers are treated to the sounds of a building rainstorm. The sound-based text uses onomatopoeia and rhythm to create a sensory-rich story. Readers can enjoy playing with language alongside a fox playing in the wetlands.
By April Pulley Sayre
This nonfiction rain book is filled with incredible photographs. Sayre’s unique nature books always find a home on our children’s book lists. Throughout this book, learn about the sounds of rainy weather and how rain affects plants and critters. Inspire a new appreciation of rain!
ByJean Taft, illustrated by Matt Hunt
This quick-read book explores the sounds of a rainy day. Readers can learn how rain affects even the smallest critters on earth. The sensory-focused text will keep children engaged in this rainy story from cover to cover. And hopefully, it will inspire an outdoor adventure next time it rains!
The Rain Stomper
By Addie Boswell, illustrated by Eric Velasquez
Readers can follow along as Jazmin and the rain face off. Jazmin has her cheerleading uniform on for the parade, and she is not happy the rain threatens to cancel the event. Jazmin protests, stomps, and kicks while working through her anger. Enjoy the sound-rich story about a rainy day parade.
By Carol Thompson
In this silly rain story, a child and their stuffed animal step outside on a wet day. Explore all the squishy, wet sounds that a rainy day makes. This book is goofy and fun from beginning to end. I would recommend it for the youngest book lovers.
Rain Board Books
Infants, toddlers, and younger preschoolers can learn about rain from these board books. Board books encourage children to interact with books, even when adults are too busy to sit and read. The adorable illustrations in these board books introduce children to rainy weather.
By Linda Ashman, illustrated by Christian Robinson
The truth is we all experience a rainy day differently. Does it make you feel curious, cozy, or cranky? Early learners will see how two characters react to a rainy day in the city. Let this rain book inspire a conversation about how the weather can change our moods and daily lives.
There is also an English-Spanish bilingual version of this book!
By Angela Johnson, illustrated by Rhonda Mitchell
Rain Feet is a quick read but packs a lot of activity into a short book. Let the little boy in this book inspire readers to slip on rain boots (or go barefoot!) out into the rain to play.
Rain, Rain, Go Away!
By Caroline Jayne Church
It’s impossible not to love this board book’s adorable, metallic illustrations. Readers will love singing along with a beloved nursery rhyme. Afterward, discuss how rainy weather may damper our moods, but sunnier skies are always ahead.
Tip for Teachers: Place this book in the classroom music center. It’s a great way to promote literacy, music, and weather concepts.
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
By Iza Trapani
This board book is an extended version of the beloved children’s nursery rhyme. Learn more about what happens to the spider after it climbs the water spout.
Have a child who loves this nursery rhyme/finger play? I reviewed even more itsy bitsy spider books on the spider book list.
Somewhere on this list, I hope you discovered the perfect rain book for a bedtime or classroom lesson plan. Once your child or students are finished with these rain books, they can move on to some fantastic rainbow books and stories.
What to do with preschoolers when it rains?
Children love sensory-rich play. Head out and play in the rain, mud, and puddles like many of the characters in this book.
Wanting to stay warm and cozy? Get a blanket and a rain book from this list. Watch out the window as the rain falls.
I recommend BookShop.org as an alternative to amazon. Each purchase on BookShop.org supports local and independent bookstores. You can explore my book lists for early learners or search for any books (new and used).