About the Holiday
Water Quality is a crucial world-wide issue. In fact, 2015 closed out a decade-long United Nations initiative “Water for Life” to promote awareness of the importance of water quality as it relates to sanitation, geography, human rights, urbanization, and sustainability. The Audobon Society emphasizes the interconnectedness of all water systems and urges people to be mindful of the dangers that can lurk in runoff from construction, forestry, factories, agriculture, and personal yards as it combines in rivers, lakes, or the ocean. To observe this month be conscious of what is in your water. Limit the use of anti-bacterial soaps that contain a certain pesticide harmful to marine life, don’t flush unused medications, choose nontoxic household cleaners, avoid using fertilizers and pesticides, and clean up leaks from cars and other machinery. Protecting our water sources protects us.
Water Can Be…
Written by Laura Purdie Salas | Illustrated by Violeta Dabija
“Water is water— / it’s puddle, pond, sea. / When springtime comes splashing, / the water flows free.” So begins an inventive journey through the ways that water enriches our lives. With four-word rhyming couplets Laura Purdie Salas illuminates specific moments or circumstances to reveal water’s important role from season to season. From filling ponds, lakes, oceans, and even puddles to roaring down hillsides to floating in misty fogs and forming snowflakes, water sustains us and makes the world a more beautiful place.
During spring and summer when ponds nurture new life and rain puddles reflect, “Water can be…a tadpole hatcher / Picture catcher.” In hot weather water refreshes as a “Thirst quencher / Kid drencher.” And the seas, at times calm and at others roiling, can be both “Home maker / Ship breaker.”
As the air cools in autumn, water can be found in alternate forms. It squirts from fountains for the “school drink-er” and hardens to ice for a “Bruise shrinker.” A river’s winding trail becomes a “Salmon highway / Eagle flyway.” Winter brings water in a more solid form. Whipped by wind snow swirls as a “Storm creator” or gently sticks to surfaces as a “Decorator.” Outside, both animals and people enjoy the frozen precipitation. Snow serves as a “Woodchuck warmer / Snowman former.”
On the final pages as ice sculptors carve castles and dragons, moon beams and rabbits, Laura Purdie Salas encourages readers: “Water is water— / it’s ice, snow, and sea. / Now go and discover / what else it can be.”
Fascinating facts concerning the subject of each rhyme, a glossary, and a bibliography for further reading follow the text. Laura Purdie Salas donates a portion of the royalties from Water Can Be… to WaterAid, an international non-profit organization that transforms lives by improving and providing access to safe water, hygiene, and sanitation.
Laura Purdie Salas always surprises with her selection of examples and clever rhymes leading readers to more fully appreciate the world around them. Water doesn’t just flow, it feeds, speeds, cloaks and soaks, it decorates and bejewels, fluffs and snuffs. After reading Sala’s poetic tribute, readers will never experience water the same way and will be on the lookout for how they can interpret water’s gifts.
Violeta Dabija has created gorgeous, ethereal interpretations of each two-word rhyme. The nourishing blues and aquas of the sea, gauzy whites of fog and clouds, and brilliant whites of snow and ice are subtly crosshatched giving each illustration depth and movement. While the words on each page are short, kids will want to spend a long time taking in the beauty of Dabija’s paintings.
Ages 3 – 8
Millbrook Press, Lerner Books, 2014 | ISBN 978-1467705912
Check out the book trailer for Water Can Be…. It really makes a splash!
There’s so much to see and do on Laura Purdie Salas’s website!
View more beautiful art by Violeta Dabija on her website!
Water Quality Month Activity
Angel Fish Coloring Page
Clean water is important for all fish to survive! You can make the ocean sparkling clear by adding a bit of glitter to your printable Angel Fish Coloring Page!