Review of Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle

paul_water is waterWater Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle
by Miranda Paul; illus. by Jason Chin
Preschool, Primary   Porter/Roaring Brook   40 pp.
5/15   978-1-59643-984-9   $17.99

An evocative rhyming text and verdant watercolors introduce the water cycle to young readers by linking water’s forms — from water to steam to clouds to fog to rain to ice to snow — to seasonal changes and kid-friendly activities such as swimming, finding pictures in clouds, and sipping hot cocoa after a day of snow play. “Fog is fog unless… / it falls down. / Patter. Splatter. What is that sound?” The textual simplicity, matched with the large size and clarity of the illustrations, makes this a strong choice for group sharing in libraries or classrooms, and the narrative’s focus on an interracial family further elevates the appeal and notability. Text and illustrations evince an infectious joy in nature, in which readers are encouraged to take part, and visual depictions of nature and childhood alike are breathtakingly in their vibrant color, sense of motion, and wealth of detail. With the advent of spring, the narrative jumps from what water is (rain, fog, cloud, snow, tap, etc.) to what it makes (squishy mud, which feeds trees, which grow apples, which are pressed into cider…etc.). Water’s importance to life is emphasized throughout, and readers will enjoy spotting its additional forms and uses bubbling up in the background of each spread. While the main text focuses more on identifying than explaining, additional scientific information and details about the water cycle are included in the back matter, along with recommended further reading, a bibliography, and a call to appreciate and conserve water.

From the May/June 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Claire Gross
Claire Gross
Claire Gross is the youth librarian at the Egleston branch of the Boston Public Library and a former associate editor of The Horn Book Magazine.

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