Rufus and the Rain


Story by Mark Laurent

Illustrated by Chris Liddiard

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Rufus is a sun loving bear, and gets grumpy when it rains. But what happens when a bear lets his grumpiness get the better of him? What if the weather turns out to be just as grumpy as he is?


Rufus and the Rain is Mark's first children's story, beautifully illustrated by Chris Liddiard, who lives in the UK. It is published by Scholastic New Zealand, and is available from shops in New Zealand and Australia.


If you live outside New Zealand, or would like to buy a copy on-line, Rufus can be found at: www.nzbooksabroad.com.

"I originally wrote RUFUS AND THE RAIN a few years ago, just as a writing exercise. Rufus is a ‘real’ teddy bear – one of a small collection we have at home. Our kids are grown up, so I wasn’t writing for them specifically, but when my brother-in-law Chris (Liddiard) agreed to illustrate it, we decided to dedicate it to our niece, Ellie, who was just coming up to her fifth birthday.


Basically, RUFUS AND THE RAIN is a story about what can happen when we let "what should" obscure "what is". Rufus gets grumpy because the day isn’t going the way he wants it to, and his grumpiness sets off a whole chain of events that – in the end – only make things worse. Some people have also read an ecological slant into it. We want the world to be the way that suits us, and often we don’t think of how that will effect others – or creation itself. I guess it’s really saying 'Do to others what you’d like them to do to you.'


Chris Liddiard is a graphic designer and watercolour artist in England. He hadn’t done a children’s book before, but I sent him some photos of the ‘real’ Rufus to work off, and he’s made a brilliant job of it. His paintings have an atmosphere and minimalism that’s classic. He’d been nervous that his drawings might look too much like E. H. Shepard’s marvellous illustrations of Winnie The Pooh, but Chris has a very fine style all his own. He’s turned RUFUS into a little work of art.

“It's a delightful story with a wonderful message & the illustrations are perfect”