The Adventures of Raina in Rainworld is a collection of fabulous and creative stories starring Raina, the champion of all children who would be outdone by their older siblings.

Raina is glamourous, athletic, tough, adventurous and independent. She can do anything that an older sibling can do and then some. She can read, cook, climb, ride a bike, fly, and toggle between her world and ours in the blink of an eye.

Raina hales from Rainworld where she lives with her family in a castle in the sky. She is the oldest of a large brood of funky characters.

Everything in Rainworld is purple.

Raina’s parents, Rick and Rainya, are the parents kids dream of. They never scold, they serve ice cream for breakfast, and they can, when needed, become Superman and Wonder Woman.

Raina herself has many superpowers. The most useful and amazing of which is that she is always at least one year older than the oldest kid in the room. Usually, ten will do, but sometimes she has to boost it up a bit.

If you think you would enjoy this book about an underdog who turns into the consummate one upper, don’t run out to the bookstore right away.

This story is as yet unpublished.

Currently this ongoing tale lives in the mind of one sassy, fabulous four-year-old named Emma (see above). Raina is Emma’s constant and trusty imaginary companion.

Emma created Raina almost as soon as she could talk and has been elaborating on the story of Raina ever since. In a way, Emma’s muse for this story is her older sister Meg, who really does seem to outdo Emma at every turn, except for storytelling.

When Meg learned how to swim under water, Raina became a mermaid; when Meg had her first field trip, Raina flew to Africa with a kitten named Kitty Mo Lara; when Meg tells a story about a funny kid at school, that kid is actually Raina’s cousin and comes to play on a white horse whenever Meg is out.

I have often wondered how J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkein, and C.S. Lewis got their starts. Now I am betting they each had a bold and confident older sibling who drove them crazy and inspired them all to create an alternative world, a place that only they could control, where evil was conquered and show-offs vanquished.

What those authors have that Emma doesn’t is literacy. The ability to read and write, an understanding of story structure, the background of stories upon stories that help us make sense of the world and allow an author to build a new level. A bossy sister can only take a girl so far.  Books will take her the rest of the way.

And that is another reason CLiF works so hard to provide books to so many kids; the inspiration of a new generation of underdog authors.

Go get ‘em, Raina!

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