Up and Down on a Rainy Day – New Book!

This week I was thrilled to celebrate the online release of my second picture book – more than eleven and a half years since my first. (How thankful I am for verse novels in between. And more picture books in progress!)

‘Up and Down on a Rainy Day’ is a simple concept book for the very young, delightfully illustrated by Janet Turner and published by State Library of Queensland in the Stories For Little Queenslanders series. The adorable illustrations capture some of my best memories of rainy day play with our boys.

Stories for Little Queenslanders is a First Five Forever initiative, bringing fun, high-quality picture books full of familiar local places and animals to Queensland kids and their families…stories inspired by people and communities around Queensland. As a teacher, I have seen first-hand how parents who read and interact with their children, set them on a positive path through their schooling. It doesn’t matter how much education parents have had, or what their careers are – if they spend time reading with their kids, it shows! I’m thrilled to have a story selected in this new project that promotes Queensland stories – and the joy (and value!) of reading together during the early years. Cue the warm and snuggly (sometimes wriggly) memories of reading with our farm boys.

The project was birthed during COVID, and was a whirlwind ride to completion. But if there was one thing we needed during COVID it was a creative purpose! I’m thankful to have had this exciting project bubbling away. And to work with such a wonderful team. State Library has created a wealth of content to support the book – and the series. There’s online readings, audio books and digital version to download. There’s even a digital flip-book. As with all my books, I’m collating links in the dropdown tab of this site. Click on Books and scroll down to ‘Up and Down on a Rainy Day‘.

Activity booklet

Click to download.

Books in the series are available in all Queensland Public Libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres – and there are very limited hardcover editions available for sale at the State Library Shop.

Today, I’m uploading ‘Play by the Book: Up and Down on a Rainy Day‘ – a booklet with 16 different activities to engage young children and enhance the reading experience of ‘Up and Down on a Rainy Day’. (Think water-play, mud and fun! Also puppets, drama and colour.) These activities have been prepared with the support of Regional Arts Development Fund, Bundaberg Regional Council and Arts Queensland. I am so thankful for their support of creatives at all times, and especially during this difficult year!

2020 has been challenging, but I am incredibly thankful for this project. And I’m so excited to finally be able to share the news! It didn’t rain on the day it arrived in my letterbox. It didn’t rain on launch day. (We had 20mm in a cracker thunderstorm the day before, though.⚡️) When we get our downpour, you can be assured that I will be UP and down, celebrating!😅

This post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted by Buffy Silverman – another kidlit poet who loves getting outdoors. Thanks, Buffy!

ping-pong ping-pong
even frogs
sing in the shower

© Kathryn Apel


    • Thank-you Margaret😍. It’s been a very exciting project to be a part of – and I am so thankful for all the support. This year would have been very scary without it. (This year has been scary enough as it is!)


  1. Hooray! I’m delighted with your book success. More, I’m excited for the little ones that will discover a great story, enjoying the sounds and activities that this newest book brings them. I have memories of reading to my littles too. Oh, they were a wiggly bunch. And, the warm, rainy days did get us in a bit of mud and fun. I couldn’t be happier for the words making their way to kids and their readers. That is such a gift to all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations, Kat. I’m laughing at your poem because my mother is afraid of frogs. If she found one in her shower, she would be ping-ponging her way out of there!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations, Kat, I love the video. That opening song is so delightful. I grew up in another, rainier state than Colorado & remember playing in the rain, or in puddles, or making the mud pies, etc. We just do not get that kind of rain now, but I love that you’re celebrating it in your picture book! I know it’s so important for children to have books & to be read to. There is a program here called Reach out And Read where pediatricians give new or gently used books to young children during their well visits, encouraging young parents to read to their kids. My class ran fundraisers for it for several years. Thanks and wishing you some showers!


  4. You know this initiative and this post and this book go straight to my heart, Kat! Congratulations, and thanks also for the video which also gives me a way to do land acknowledgment with littles, something I have been waking up to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heidi, if there’s anything there that you can use with your kiddies, please do. There are links to a PDF version of the book, under the dropdown tab. And Janet’s finger puppets are adorable, for an interactive read-along. It would warm my teacher-heart, seeing the book/activities supporting kids and teachers across the globe.


  5. Congratulations my far-away friend! I love your book starting with a simple opening that my little Sierra is going to love. I am going to share your downloadable book when I am able to read next to her. Unfortunately, COVID is making that impossible. Can’t wait for the vaccine so we can all be relieved.
    Your activity booklet has resurrected my thoughts of mud pies and I just love Activity 2: Watercolour Rain Book Pages. I think Sierra is going to love to sponge wate on to create rain. Maybe that will be a great bathtime fun activity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This makes me so happy, Carol. (But not the bit about COVID/lack of togetherness.) I am just imagining yours and Sierra’s shared joy. Big hugs. And stay safe and well. Hoping the vaccine has wings to fly – and that the end is in sight!


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