Tippy the Raindrop

Tippy the RaindropTippy the Raindrop
Author: Theodora Klein-Carroll
Pub: Balboa Press
Price: £11.17

Touted as an interactive, educational book for children on conservation, Tippy the Raindrop is a story about a little raindrop and his dream to make a flower blossom, which is interrupted by the Wicked North Wind.

The wind blows him to the North Pole where he freezes him into a snowflake, just because he can. Determined to reach his goal, Tippy uses some reverse psychology on his bully and tells the North Wind that he’s happy being a snowflake. This makes the Wind furious, so he blows him back to his raincloud and thus Tippy is able to rain down on the flowers and his destiny is fulfilled. 

All very lovely, and goal orientated, but it really does beg the questions: what is it teaching children, precisely, and how exactly is it any more interactive that any other story?

My three-year old daughter was given this book by a friend who normally brings her fairy princess stickers when she stays. I don’t know whether it was the disappointment of no stickers or whether she just wasn’t impressed with Tippy (not even the mobile at the back roused any excitement – perhaps that’s the ‘interactive’ part), but it wasn’t a big hit. 

But perhaps I’m being unfair. The idea of following dreams and solving problems is always good in a story book, but I do wonder where the ‘conservation’ angle comes in.

And really, picture books hold the attention because they are a riot of colour (and today, more often than not, a sensory explosion). Tippy’s mainly blue, lacklustre pages might be meaningful to the adult onlooker, but it’s so dull. 

Indeed, asked what she thought of Tippy, my three-year-old replied: “Um, I like the coloured flowers, but I wish Tippy had chosen the red one.”

A quick goggle and other (American) parents seem to really endorse Tippy. Yet his Facebook page has only received 97 likes. It’s sure to be in a discount store near you soon, but unless the store has a special offer, don’t bother. 

Matilda Zatorkski