From the Publisher:
A thought-provoking celebration of water, the universal resource that unites us all.
Around the world, water appears in many forms: a snowflake, an oasis, the stream from a faucet, monsoon rain. In Water’s Children, twelve young people describe what water means to them. The descriptions are as varied as the landscapes the speakers inhabit, but each of them also expresses, in their own language, a universal truth: Water is life.
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…
This unique title reads like a crossover between a picture book, poem(s), and a non-fiction title. The necessity of water is focused through the lens of its vital importance to twelve children from different countries. Each two-page spread features a poetic stanza contributed by a child who was invited by the author to share what water means to them in their life and surroundings. Each of the children does so in their own language, and their (translated) homages to the universal importance of water are inspiring. The ultimate goal of the book is to spark discussion (and hopefully a plan for conservancy) about the vital role that water plays for each of us. The illustrations are vivid and each one showcases an individual snapshot of the twelve ‘narrator’s’ homelands. The phrase “water is life” is translated into the language of the narrator and placed as a watermark on each two-page spread. This TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award-nominated book is highly recommended for older toddlers through to primary school students.
My 3-yo and I spent a lot of time pouring over this title. Our eyes were drawn to the first names of the twelve narrators that are listed in the dedication at the front of the book – as I read them, she recognized that some sounded different to her ears and we explored the concept that there are a wide variety of names and pronunciations for children from around the world. My daughter was able to recognize that each two-page spread was depicting a specific locale and we discussed things that were similar and different to our surroundings in each different depiction of a homeland. What a great discussion about diversity. She easily grasped the idea that water exists all over the world and is of vital importance to everyone. We ended our reading by brainstorming ways that we can help conserve the water around us and in our household, specifically.
- vibrant and eye-catching illustrations
- lyrical and poetic text that is vocabulary-rich (a great chance to learn new words!)
- strong conservation message without being too heavy-handed. The message is clearly sent, but beautifully conveyed
- effective hybrid of fiction/poem/non-fiction
- the font seemed quite small for the amount of room that there was to display it
- font choice may make it hard for young/new readers to decode (fancy font)
Why/How Use it with kids:
- use the clues in the illustrations to guess at the country depicted on each two-page spread
- learn how to say “water is life” in the various languages (watermarks)
- create your own poem stanza to add to the story and create a representation/illustration of how the child uses water in their own surroundings.