“It’s raining,” said John TwainingThat phrase was part of our family culture when I was growing up. Someone would say it whenever it started raining. The original rhyme is followed by other John’s all discussing how to keep dry in the rain, all in rhyme (for example, “Keep my dry” said John Rye, or “Buy some coats!” said John Oats). We never remembered all the words but would try and make up our own John rhymes.
The original poem comes from a book of Danish nursery rhymes - It’s Raining, Said John Twaining, translated and illustrated by N. M. Bodecker. The book is now out of print, but it is a book I remember vividly from my childhood. We didn’t own the book but borrowed it often from the library.
As I thought to myself, It’s raining, said John Twaining, during a rainy day this year I decided I would like to find this book to read to my children. It wasn’t in any libraries that I have access to, but I was able to buy a secondhand copy from AbeBooks. It is perfect for us at the moment as B is always hunting for rhymes and rhyming words and this book is full of silly rhymes.
I don’t remember many picture books from my childhood. The books that I remember are mostly ones that I read when I was older and could read independently, but a few of my other childhood picture book favourites were
Possum Magic, by Mem Fox
John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat, by Jenny Wagner
Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
Dinnertime, by Jan Pienkowski
What picture books do you remember from your childhood? Have you shared them with your children?