Water is waterWater is Water – A Book About the Water Cycle
By Miranda Paul; Illustrations by Jason Chin

A biracial brother and sister and a diverse group of friends play and explore outdoors through the four seasons in this poetic look at the many forms water takes on its trip through its cycle. From rain to fog to snow to mist, talented author Miranda Paul and the always remarkable Jason Chin (Redwoods, Coral Reefs, Island, Gravity) combine to create a beautiful and informative journey in this innovative nonfiction picture book.

Chin’s beautiful watercolor and gouache illustrations show each season in thoughtful detail, and water in a different form on each page. Most appealing are Chin’s illustrations of children at play in nature.  At home and at school, the children are busy running, chasing, skating, throwing snowballs. They are fascinated with turtles, frogs, snakes. Facial expressions reveal how much they love being outdoors. Young readers/audiences will easily identify with the book’s diverse characters.

Miranda Paul’s poetic text reveals the science of the water cycle. “Drip. Sip. Pour me a cup. Water is water unless…it heats up.” The reader/listener is pulled onto the next page with an unless… as the basics of evaporation, condensation, precipitation, collection and more are explained in a seamless, engaging rhyme.  And, teachers, fear not – a deeper exploration of specific nomenclature is given in the back matter with thumbnails to reference pages in the text.

Water is Water exemplifies how a complex subject shared through story engages the child, leap frogs all the diagrams and other didactics, and goes straight to the brain! Rather than “following the drop,” as many water cycle books do, this one analogously follows the constant motion of children, each on their own unique path. The children play and explore finding their relationship with nature – joining in as the natural story unfolds around them. Paul and Chin bring home to their readers a story of enormous proportions, one that is largely invisible to all of us, by focusing on children doing what they do outdoors. Brilliant!

Water is Water celebrates the child/nature relationship making it a great read-aloud this Earth Day . . . or any day.

Related activities:

  • The text of Water is Water has been put to music; watch the video here.
  • Water Cycle Stories – 4-card stories to sort and sequence, plus water cycle nomenclature labels and definitions
  • Water mapping for kids, and more:  Click here