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All the Water in the World [Hardcover]

George Ella Lyon , Katherine Tillotson

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Book Description

March 22 2011
Faucet
            well
raincloud 
            sea …

from each of these
comes water.

But where does
Water go?

To find out, honey,
turn the page,
dive in 
    with tongue 
          or toes, 
with eyes and ears and nose—
and wonder
at the flow
of this great world’s
life story.

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Review

* "Lots of picture books introduce young children to the water cycle, but few have such an infectious beat and eye-catching illustrations as this title, which begs to be read aloud. With occasional rhymes, the short, poetic lines are conversational and instructive and evoke a sense of mystery.... What kids will respond to immediately, though, are the noisy, delicious sounds and rhythms in the words as well as the kinetic energy in the beautifully composed, atmospheric digital illustrations, which have the richly patterned and textured look of paint-and-paper collage. Playfully arranged type in changing fonts adds to the visual fun while giving cues for energizing read-alouds. On the final, stunning spreads, a mother’s hair swirls into a wave of water that becomes a joyful spiral of living creatures, all reinforcing the simple, profound message: our lives depend on 'so precious' water."
--BOOKLIST, March 15, 2011, *STAR

* “Lyon briefly explains the water cycle in lyrical verse and celebrates its power to give life... The digital collage like illustrations pair dramatically with the text to depict this contrast. Turquoise endpapers usher in pages with swirls of water, water spouting from a hose, through pipes, down mountains. Rain pours down in horizontal and vertical spreads. But brown and cream-colored pages reveal a bare landscape where a little girl and animals alike anxiously anticipate an approaching rain cloud. At last, “this wet wonder” arrives and flows through all creatures, including a young child and mother whose water-sprinkled hair spreads across the pages to become a swirl of tiny creatures and plants. “Honey, living things dream of water...so precious,” says the narrator. We must “keep it clear, keep it clean… keep Earth green!” Filled with rhythm and sound, this offering begs to be read aloud.”
--School Library Journal, May 2011, *STAR

“Lyon celebrates the essence of life itself in a lyrical presentation of the water cycle…Meanwhile, in sweeping, digitally rendered art resembling watercolor and collage, Tillotson creates luxuriant ocean swirls and pelting streaks of rain…It’s a familiar subject but a vital one, to which author and illustrator bring a passion and artistry that give it the power of story.”
--The Horn Book Magazine, May/June 2011

"This book totally immerses the reader in the water cycle. From blue end papers and thrashing water on the title page, we’re taken to a view of the tiny blue planet Earth from space. From space, the author moves to the familiar: water coming from a hose, puddles, and a cup of water. The author explains the water cycle using a wealth of vocabulary quite artfully and effectively. You feel the words. Evaporation is shown by having the words “swirl up” and rise up the page from the sea. The use of blues, purples, and greens to convey wetness is quite effective, as is the use of browns and beige depicting a place where very little water is available. There is total integration of illustration and text. A child reading this book will understand the water cycle, and that they need to be good water stewards. This is a good science read-aloud for the primary grades."
Highly Recommended
- Library Media Connection, October 2011

About the Author

George Ella Lyon grew up just down the road from Blanton Forest, the largest old growth forest in Kentucky, and has always felt most at home in the woods. Some of her recent titles include the ALA Notable All the Water in the World, the Schneider Family Book Award–winner The Pirate of Kindergarten, the Jane Addams Peace Award Honor Book You and Me and Home Sweet Home, and Planes Fly! A novelist and poet, she lives with her family in Lexington, Kentucky. You can find out more online at GeorgeEllaLyon.com.

Katherine Tillotson is the illustrator of several children’s books. For the story of It’s Picture Day Today, she cut paper that she created herself by drawing patterns on paper with paste, a centuries-old technique that crafters may be familiar with. Ms. Tillotson lives in San Francisco with her husband. Visit her at KatherineTillotson.com.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful intro to the water cycle April 28 2011
By J. Prather - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I can't imagine a better tool to introduce the water cycle to a preschool or early elementary audience than this beautiful book. It answers the basic question "where does it come from?" in a manner that is both simple and lyrical. A great read aloud for groups, this book combines science and poetry with illustrations that are vibrant and colorful. The text appears in a variety of fonts to emphasize words and create movement. The rhythm is as easy as a free flowing stream and ends with a bold reminder that we need to take care of our planet. The author also effectively points out that while we may have plenty of water, "far away it's a different day." This is a great choice for classroom use, or if your little one is full of those "where does it come from?" questions. Recommended.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Cycle June 12 2011
By Catherine W. Hughes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Listen to the story of water on earth, from sea to air to earth again, round and round and round. This picture book illustrates the power of water for life on earth, reminding the reader to keep the earth both "clean" and "green." Dive into the loose verse of this picture book with children ages 4-7, and explore the "precious" resource of water.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And the rain rain rain came down down down Jan. 1 2012
By E. R. Bird - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The role of the public library has changed so often over the last century or so that its latest incarnation as a supporter of public education turns out to be one of the more logical connections you'd expect from this essential institution. Suddenly public libraries around the country are purchasing books that support school agendas and school curriculums. They've always done so to a certain degree, but now that school library budgets are being slashed, public libraries often find themselves picking up the slack. That means that suddenly they have to start buying books that support already existing subject areas. You know. Second grade biographies. Colonial America. That sort of thing. One subject that I know schools teach regular is "the water cycle". Kids need to learn about it, preferably along with the environmental implications. Now a library has a choice. It can go out and buy some dull as dishwater textbooks that have all the science and none of the verve, guaranteeing that their child readers fall to sleep before they reach page four. OR they can locate books like George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillotson's "All the Water in the World". This is the kind of book that's going to fulfill a variety of different needs all at once. It makes teachers happy because it teaches science. It makes libraries happy because of its visual splendor and poetic language. And it makes kids happy because, quite frankly, its fun. You know what that means, don't you? This book's the best kind of triple threat.

You get a pretty good sense of author George Ellen Lyon's writing style the minute you notice that the title is part of the book's first sentence. On the title page you'll read "All the water in the world" and then when you turn the page you encounter " . . . is all the water in the world." So right there you've handed child readers an oddly Zen but true sentence. Let `em chew on it a while and try to find a loophole. If they start talking about water from space then you start teaching a space unit as well, or maybe a vocabulary lesson where you determine what "in the world" really means. For the record, the book is full of these little verbal riddles. "Water doesn't come. It goes. Around." I sort of love that. I also love "that rain has been here before," setting up the idea of things circling around and around until something somewhere goes wrong. Lyon is a poet in her own right so while she's discussing matters of the material world she's still not afraid to throw in some delicious language. "Thirsty air / licks it from lakes / sips it from ponds / guzzles it from oceans . . ." How many books about the water cycle make you want to read them over and over again? Not too many, honey. Not too many.

I've a low didacticism tolerance, even when the message being conveyed is one I believe in. And different lessons become trendy over the years. Early American children's books used to convey dull tales of morality in the hopes of shaping their young readers' ethics. Some books in the 20th century sought to reinforce social mores and then, later, to break them down. These days the hot topics you'll find in a large swath of books for kids are anti-bullying screeds and environmental messages. Both are worthy subjects of titles for kids, but of the books published I'd say a good 90% are simply awful. You've probably seen them. They're the kinds of books that make the Berenstain Bears look subtle in comparison. So part of what I appreciated so much about "All the Water in the World" was that while the environmental message is there (the last three words in the book are "keep Earth green!" after all) it's introduced subtly and naturally into the text. You can't talk about water without talking about what's happening to it around the globe, after all. Not even in a picture book. But rather than straight out say to kids the obvious "pollution is bad" message, Lyon is clever enough to show the vast use of water, who it helps, what it does, and so on. That way, when she gets to the end and says we should keep it clean and the Earth green, kids already understand why. For that reason this book would actually pair rather nicely with the equally curriculum-friendly "Coral Reefs" by Jason Chin.

I don't know why it took so long for an editor to realize that Ms. Tillotson's kinetic art is perfect for nonfiction subject matter. Until now she's done lovely work on books like "When the Library Lights Go Out" and "It's Picture Day Today!" but "All the Water in the World" feels like a step in a different direction. Like "It's Picture Day Today" there's life and energy to the art, but there's something else going on there. Purpose. Now Tillotson's images have the dual purpose of entertaining and informing. She takes up the challenge readily, causing water droplets to form shapes of deer and children in the spaces between their flow. Thirsty air now has a form and the sudden vertical two-page spread that forces readers to turn their books contains such a convincing downpour that you'll half believe your fingers will grow damp when you touch it. I don't think I was the only one to be shocked when I reached the publication information at the book's end and discovered that the art here is entirely digital. Digital? When I think of digital art I think of slick single-color lines and dull shading, not splatters of water turning into snails and squirrels or a mimicry of watercolors that looks like the page itself is rippling. Tillotson masters the electronic form, matching Lyon's poetry page for page, word for word, blow by blow.

I should note that there will be some teachers who find the book insufficient for school assignments. There is no Bibliography at the end. No Afterword. No Glossary of terms. The book shows how the water cycle works, but it does so in a fun artistic way, not a rote scientific one. You won't see graphs with arrows that label each part of the process. You will see rain plucked from oceans, carried over mountains, and rained onto plains, but it feels like it's part of a story not a lesson. For that reason I really feel the book should be a vital part of every library system. Anyone can stuff facts onto a page. To make the material sing takes a special hand or two. And as luck would have it, four special hands from two talented women came together to create this little gem of a book. If you're looking to give a gift to a child but you want to hand them something informative rather than the fiction you've been giving out all these years, give "All the Water in the World" a shot. It's a hoot and a beaut. Poetry and nonfiction and art all coming together to make everybody happy.

For ages 4-8.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful introduction to the importance of water. Feb. 27 2012
By Heidi Grange - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book, full of poetic language and gorgeous illustrations. In fact, the book flows rather like its subject, water. I love the way the water cycle is introduced, "Water doesn't come. It goes. Around." The wording is deceptively simple, but the design of the book makes the words come alive as the words seem to move like the illustrations. The illustrations match the flowing nature of water. The use of color highlights the importance of water and the fact that water is not evenly distributed through our world. Some places get too much water and others not enough. I highly recommend this book, not just as a book about water, but as a work of art.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Illustrated Book Feb. 17 2012
By S. Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is beautifully illustrated. Kids will be drawn in by the bright colors and movement of the paintings. It's a great way to introduce kids to the water cycle and make them aware of how all things are connected.

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