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"In a look at the forms, functions and uses of water, Salas and Dabija turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
The simple text and spot-on rhymes belie the sophistication of the inherent message behind the verse--water is a life-giver. It creates the weather, quenches thirst, is a habitat for animals, helps the plants and trees grow, both cools and insulates, fights fires, soothes injuries and beautifies the Earth in myriad ways. Mentioning only spring and autumn by name, the pictures nonetheless cycle through all four seasons. 'Water is water-- / it's puddle, pond, sea. / When springtime comes splashing, / the water flows free. // Water can be a... / Tadpole hatcher / Picture catcher // Otter feeder / Downhill speeder // Garden soaker / Valley cloaker.' Dabija's illustrations, created with a combination of traditional and digital techniques and filled with simple shapes and vivid, vibrant colors, are misty, scratchy, sometimes-impressionistic, always atmospheric--in a word, beautiful. Even older elementary students will welcome the shimmering pairings of words and artwork, their teachers using this as both a science lesson and a writing exercise--can students write as poetically, economically and informatively as Salas? Backmatter extends the poetic hints in brief paragraphs ('Rainbow jeweler' describes how rainbows form, for example).
Kids of all ages will gain a new appreciation for water, and Salas and Dabija will surely gain new fans." --starred, Kirkus Reviews
"This picture book about water, written in verse, lets young readers quench their thirst for rhyme and information at the same time. The book opens with 'Water is water--it's puddle, pond, sea, ' setting the stage for rhyming pairs that describe the many different forms that water can take, such as 'valley cloaker' (fog), 'bruise shrinker' (ice), and 'snowman former' (snow). The text is perfect for creating mental images and showing children what the words look like. The traditional and digital media used for the illustrations create a delicate tone for the book. Each page has an ethereal beauty that brings the text to life. Readers will experience the transformational effects of water on people and the environment and will see how water is home to so many creatures. The back matter explains in greater detail what each of the rhyming pairs means and provides more content about water in general. Fans of A Leaf Can Be... (Millbrook, 2012) by the same author will delight in this offering." --School Library Journal--Journal
"Salas and Dabija follow 2012's A Leaf Can Be... with an equally contemplative and thought-provoking ode to the forms water takes and the functions it serves, both practical and whimsical. Once again, the author's staccato rhymes leapfrog unexpectedly from one idea to the next, almost like a free-association game: 'Water can be a... Tadpole hatcher/ Picture catcher/ Otter feeder/ Downhill speeder.' Working mostly in a palette of deep, wet greens and blues, Dabija nimbly varies the moods of each scene to match the text, from the glee of two children playing in a sprinkler ('Kid drencher') to the drama of an embattled boat being tossed about by enormous waves ('Ship breaker')." --starred, Publishers Weekly--Journal