March 15, 2017
Water is Water by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Jason Chin
Pour me a cup.
Water is water
So begins Water is Water, a most excellent picture book about the water cycle. It seems like such a complicated subject would require a complicated text but Paul’s text is poetic and brief, perfect for reading aloud. Drinking water, steam, clouds, fog, rain, snow and ice, flowing streams and more all have a place in this amazing complex book.
Jason Chin’s watercolor and gouache paintings expand on the story as we follow a pair of siblings through the school year and back into summer break. His art provides a glorious setting for this story, subtly emphasizing the importance and wonders of water without turning it into a sermon. His art will also be of interest to suburban and urban students who may not have seen a house above a lake, surrounded by gardens and orchards and the natural world. His work is soft and watery and oh so perfect for this tale.
Chin’s artwork also adds a subtle note of diversity with a biracial siblings as the main characters. Again, this is done so subtly that it doesn’t come across as “a valuable lesson” but it will help a wider range of readers see themselves in children’s literature.
Because although the text is brief, it covers all four seasons as well as the many forms that water can take in the natural world. Back matter offers more complete information for an older learner or the adult teacher. My favorite thing in the back matter? What percentage of a turtle is water vs a cat. Yeah, I’m a number geek that way.
Share this with your students who are studying water, the water cycle and the natural world.