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Monday, February 20, 2017

Water's Children, written by Angele Delaunois and illustrated by Gerard Frischeteau, with translation by Erin Woods. Pajama Press, 2017. $18.95 ages 4 and up

"For me, water is the ocean:
the gray waves that break on the sand,
the damp air where the gulls soar,
the boat that carries my father into the horizon,
the hold heavy with fish when he returns to port.

For me, water is a sea star."

You know those days when the water must be turned off because of problems in the system, or when a water heater leaks. Only then are we aware of how much we depend on water for our daily activities. So many moments in each day when we turn to water for hand washing, cooking, drinking, making ice cubes, showering, etc. As a teacher I often asked my students to keep a list of the many times they reached for water on an ordinary day. They were always surprised at how much it mattered in their lives.

In this book about water in its many forms, we are introduced to twelve children of the world, quick to share what it means to them. They have been invited by the author to share their thoughts. They do so in their own language, and their answers will inspire those children who share it to voice their own thoughts and may lead to valuable discussion about its importance to every one of us.

Written in poetic form, and accompanied by light-infused illustrations that are full of life and detail, it is a book that will be appreciated in classrooms and at home. Water is our most precious resource, and each speaker honors that.

"For me, water is everywhere:
the tap that I turn on without thinking,
the bathtub full of bubbles,
the sprinkler that greens the grass,
the lake that summons us for vacation fun.

For me, water is a burst of laughter."


"For me, water is the rice paddy:
the sparkling grid of flooded fields,
the green islets full of young shoots,
my mother and my father planting out the seedlings,
the children and the ducks wading in the mud.

For me, water is a bowl of rice."

Indeed, water is life.

Translators and their countries are included in an accompanying list following the text. 

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