Kathleen Burkinshaw – The Last Cherry Blossom – Talks Research

Writing and Illustrating

Yesterday was the 72nd anniversary of the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima during the last days of WWII. After reading Kathleen’s great middle grade book, I asked if she could share how she researched the book, knowing it would help so many writers.

Here is the review I wrote on Goodreads:

Fabulous! From the first page to the last, I kept saying, “Wow, this is such a great book.” It is a story that needed to be told and one that should be read by young and old. Kathleen has woven a beautiful story into a book that submerges the reader in the Japanese culture leading up to the Atomic Bomb that ended WWII. I don’t know how much of her mother’s story Kathleen told, but I know her love for her family and Mother poured out of her and onto the pages of this book – so…

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Let’s Make Some Rain!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had the power to make our own rain, especially with so much of the country  experiencing drought?  We may not be able to make rain in the real sense, but with this activity, you can hear the soothing sound of rainfall anytime you wish.

All that’s needed to make a RAINSTICK is a long cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels or foil, construction paper and stickers for decoration, dried couscous, and duct tape.

1. Cover the tube with paper and seal the seam with stickers or the tape.

2.  Cut out two circles for each end of the tube. Drape one circle over one end and seal shut with tape.

3.  Pour about 1/4 C couscous into the tube.  Drape the second circle over the end and seal shut with tape.

4.  Decorate the tube with stickers. 

5. To make the sound of rain, slowly and gently tilt the tube from one end to the other.  Close your eyes, breathe in the rain scented air, and the illusion is complete!