Water! Water! Water!

Water! Water! Water! illus. by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. 40p. Amazon/Two Lions. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781477847305; ebk. $3.99. ISBN 9781477897300. LC 2013922872.
Gr 1–3—This is an appealing, accessible primer on water, its properties, and the importance of conservation. Walter, an endearing warthog, decides to keep a journal of his observations about water, such as the process of evaporation and the attributes of surface tension. Eventually, he is joined in his research by his friend Willa, who has her own pertinent facts to add to Walter's "Wonderful Water Book." The writing, while simple and straightforward, has energy. Wallace's cut-paper artwork in vibrant colors is as adorable as always; its three-dimensional aspect adds a fun novelty to the book's aesthetic. The abundant white space creates a nice crispness. The only complaint is that the terminology and explanations for the characteristics of water that Walter witnesses—capillary action, adhesion, etc.—are at the back of the book rather than on the pages featuring his experiments. Otherwise, the simple tests Walter runs are perfectly presented for young scientists to attempt on their own. Ending with doable suggestions for conserving the water supply, a variety of clear, concise nuggets of information about water, and some kid-friendly jokes, this book has it all as an introduction to this life-giving source.—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR
In a purposeful story, warthog Walter experiments with water and shares the experiences with his friend Willa, with whom he eventually ponders ways to conserve it; the pair creates a book called Walter and Willa's WONDERFUL Water Book summarizing what they've learned. Wallace's collage illustrations are appealing; Walter's ideas, though advanced for young children, directly introduce concepts such as surface tension.

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