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Grade 4–6—Looking at all the water on Earth—in the atmosphere, the oceans, lakes, ponds, rivers, and rain as "One Well" into which all life dips to survive—Strauss presents a timely discussion of the use and abuse of a not-so-limitless resource. Liberally sprinkled with interesting facts—"It took about 130 L (34 U.S. gal.) of water to make your bike"—the readable text informs children of growing demands on a finite supply; increasing pollution; and the intensifying urgency for the conservation, preservation, and protection of a unique chemical combination more essential to all life than the air we breathe. Woods's delicate paintings keep perfect step and provide a gentle framework for the plentiful statistical snippets. Included is a section for children on "Becoming Well Aware," and notes for adults about helping youngsters (and themselves) to consider the quality and quantity of the water passing through their lives. Oversized, slim, and with an interesting slant.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
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"Without water, nothing can survive." The urgent conservation message in this clear, handsome, oversize picture book is rooted in the idea of One Well, the fact that all "water on Earth is connected," and that "the water you drank today may have rained down on the Amazon rainforest five years ago." Each large, double-page spread tackles one broad topic--for example, how water is recycled, or its distribution on Earth--with boxed insets adding information about various species in various places--from coral reefs to the Bering Glacier in Alaska. Meanwhile, the detailed illustrations, in pastel and colored pencil, allow children to follow a little girl in a red T-shirt and pigtails as she crosses the globe. In marked contrast to the upbeat tone of most of the text is the warning about pollution, which lends insight into its causes, the number of people affected, and how people can conserve water in daily life. An afterword provides further information about "A crisis in the Well" and what can be done to change things. The facts are as dramatic as the threat of loss. Link this to Walter Wick's A Drop of Water (1997). Hazel Rochman
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