Rani in Search of a Rainbow
Displaced by the Pakistan floods, Rani’s family has taken refuge at a relief camp where they are doing their part to help other flood victims. Eight-year old Rani wants to assist but doesn’t know how. Heeding the advice of her father to help in a way only children can, Rani embarks on a journey to bring true joy to a dear friend on the occasion of Eid.
Inspired by the 2010 floods in Pakistan that affected the lives of 20 million people. Nearly 8.6 million of them were children. Illustrated by Bijan Samaddar. Available in paperback, hardback, and Kindle formats.
Twitter handle: #RaniinSearchofaRainbow
"Rani in Search of a Rainbow: A Natural Disaster Survival Tale is a sensitively illustrated story of the victims of the 2010 Pakistan flood disasters, with a special message of hope for children caught in a natural disaster survival effort. Rani lives in a relief camp with her family after the flood has destroyed their home, along with many hundreds of other families and children. Rani wonders if there will be an Eid celebration this year, with so many people homeless, living in tent cities, dependent on disaster assistance for daily needs. Rami helps her mother, who delivers babies, and plays with her friend Juju in the relief camp. It is the time of Ramadan, ending the daily fast with a feast and celebration of Eid. But this year is so different. There have been neither fasts nor feasts, and no special treats either. Still the children are excited and happy because of the sunshine, and they ask adults what they can do to help. Rani's father tells her, 'Try to help in a way that only children can.' Later, small portions of Haleem, a lentil stew, and popsicle treats are served in celebration of Eid. Rani and Juju laugh at a rainbow in a water bucket, only to see a real rainbow in the sky. In the whirl of daily activities, Rani is puzzled about finding what she can do to help. Finally she thinks of a special way. Her friend Juju suffers from fever and chills, and needs a comfortable blanket. Rani had torn a blanket in half with Juju earlier, struggling for supplies. She decides to repair the torn blanket by sewing both halves together, as her grandmother has taught her. She later presents the mended blanket to the crying, feverish Juju. He realizes what she has done and is very grateful. Rani returns to her parents' tent, full of happiness at finally being able to help in a way only a child can. Rani in Search of a Rainbow ends with further discussion of the 2010 floods in Pakistan and the challenging process of providing disaster relief and assistance to 20 million people afterwards. In Rani in Search of a Rainbow, special attention is paid to the mental state of children affected by the disaster. Children feel fear and anxiety keenly, and benefit from finding small roles of helpfulness that can help focus their minds on being part of the solution to the problem of homelessness.
–Midwest Book Review
“Shaila Abdullah’s Rani in Search of a Rainbow is a charming story of how a Pakistani girl deals with living in a refugee camp after a devastating flood. Abdullah’s use of poetic language, ‘Pitter patter dancing droplets’ and Rani’s quest to find her place in her community will keep readers turning the pages until the end.”
–Gwendolyn Hooks, Author of 17 Books for Young Readers
“Rani in Search of a Rainbow glows under the colorful hues of its text and rich characters. As readers, we are taken into a unique setting that one would not expect to visit in the confines of a children’s picture book. Surprisingly, you’re sad when you happen upon the last page… Only, because the story has ended! For you want to continue seeing the world through Rani’s optimistic hazel colored eyes. Descriptions of food are so real that even your tummy delights, and your heart warms at an unexpected gift. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Bravo Abdullah! Least we not forget the beautiful illustrations. They are so sweetly cute that they capture Rani’s happy tune in quirky beats. You can lose yourself in this animated world. I just, quite, simply love the art!
–Jewel Kats, author of Reena’s Bollywood Dream and Cinderella’s Magical Wheelchair
“This sweet, touching story is based on the historic 2010 floods in Pakistan which affected twenty million people, including 8.6 million children. As a result of reading it or having it read to them, youngsters will be introduced to the culture of Pakistan.”
–Wayne Walker, Home School Book Reviews
“Shaila Abdullah is a gifted children’s story teller. She shows how adaptable children and young people are when faced with difficult situations, including natural disasters. Rani in Search of a Rainbow––captivatingly illustrated by Bijan Samadder––recaps a terrible flooding in Pakistan through a child’s perspective. The book reveals that in a time of need every role is important, including the role of the children.”
–Bapsi Sidhwa, author of Cracking India
“We all want to find something that will bring smiles to our faces, hope in our hearts and inspire us to keep going. Rani found her Rainbow when she figured out a way to help her friend. Find yours!”
–Fran Lewis, former Reading and Writing Staff Developer at NYC Public Schools
“Rani in Search of a Rainbow is a remarkable glimpse into not only an historic event but also the Pakistani culture via the eyes of children. Beautifully drawn, the story depicts youth as strong, compassionate and eager to play a role in their community’s efforts to thrive. A strong lesson told in a wonderful way. Highly recommended.”
–C. Hope Clark, awarding winning author, The Carolina Slade Mysteries and The Edisto Beach Mysteries
“Once again, Shaila Abdullah has written a children’s book with important messages for adults, also. Her previous book, My Friend Suhana, dealt with the challenges and joys of friendship with a disabled child. Rani In Search of a Rainbow: A Natural Disaster Survival Tale focuses on the aftermath of the 2010 floods that devastated parts of Pakistan. Along with eight million others, Rani and her family flee their home with little more than the clothes on their backs, and now live in a refugee camp. There, Rani and her friend Juju are surrounded by busy adults doing their best to help others by unloading food, and cooking and caring for people. Rani wants to help, too. But what can a child do? “Try to find a way to help in the way only children can,” advises her father. And Rani does. The book is a celebration of the resiliency of children, reinforcing hope in the face of the unimaginable. As Rani’s mother notes, children are the first to find joy. Beneath the lighthearted text and the colorful illustrations, the book reminds us that a disaster does not end with the return of sunshine, that hard, purposeful work is needed by all, and that the role of children can be as important as that of adults.”
–Gwen Florio, author of Montana and Dakota, literary suspense novels
“What an example Shaila Abdullah’s children’s book, Rani in Search of a Rainbow, gives us. Though the target audience is children ages kinder through seven or eight years, this story of thoughtful caring for others, especially those less fortunate than ourselves, provides a lesson for adults, as well. Thus, it can serve as a means for parents and all adults to stimulate caring attitudes and activities in children, and also in their colleagues in an indirect way. In today’s wretchedly divisive political environment, this children’s book can be used, early on, as a tool for developing compassion for others … and, it is accompanied by colorful and child-appealing illustrations! A not-to-be-missed book for parents, teachers, and librarians to share with children.”
–Shirley M. Hord, PhD, Scholar Laureate, Learning Forward