Genre: Picture Book
What did you like about the book? Each page of this book features a child or children in a different part of the world expressing what water means to him or her. There are warm climate settings, cold climate settings, town, farm, forest and desert settings. There is a balance of boys and girls depicted. Most are interacting with the water (or its products). Each page also shows how to write “water is life” in the language the child would speak in that region.
The first page has an unseen person asking “Child of here, child of there, child of water . . . tell me about the water you see, the water you drink, the water that bathes you.” On the pages that follow, children answer. This is a perfect set-up for a discussion during story time, a writing activity for older elementary students, a thoughtful art activity for children of any age. What is water? How do you use it? What does it mean in your life?
The text itself is poetic and dreamy. On repeated readings, it is almost a lullaby and could become a bedtime story.
There are different colors and moods on every page. On some, the children look happy. Some are playing and some are working. Some pages are gloomy. Young readers will understand, through the text and illustrations, that some children struggle to get the water they need to drink and produce food.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Gerard Frischeteau is famous as an animator and commercial artist, and the illustrations here do have the feel of television animation.
It would have been wonderful if the book included a map showing the locations of the children’s countries and the ecosystem depicted.
To whom would you recommend this book? This is an excellent story time resource, particularly for this year’s summer reading theme, “Build a Better World.”
Who should buy this book? Kindergartens, elementary school libraries, public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Picture Books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Due to this year’s summer reading theme and the fact that drought, fracking, water access and water rights are so much in the news, yes.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Robin Shtulman, Athol Public Library, Athol, MA
Date of review: 9 June 2017