Kirkus Reviews Starred Review
July 1, 2001

“This is the ocean, / blue and vast/ that holds the rainwater from the past.” And this is the irresistible refrain of a stunning picture book on the water cycle, written as an innovation on the “This Is the House that Jack Built” pattern of cumulative text, which Schaefer used similarly in This Is the Sunflower (2000). Her rhyming storyline builds with a rhythm as steady as rain on a rooftop, following the cycle of water transformations and adding another element to the text with each refrain. Wattenberg's (Henny-Penny, 2000, etc.) glowing photographic collage illustrations feature an azure sea and a radiant golden-yellow sky with photos of real storm clouds or a black night sly with starfish stars. Her version of the vast, ancient ocean teems with fish, shells, treasure chests, and muted images of dinosaurs of ages past. Schaefer and Wattenberg have created the essential water-cycle title for younger children, imparting solid scientific information (we'll forgive the underwater dinosaurs) with memorable text and stunning art. Librarians will want this for story hours with water or rain themes; teachers will want it for water-cycle studies; and kids will want it for its clever rhymes, striking art, and mysterious sunken dinosaurs. As essential to library collections as rain is to summer sunflowers. (Picture book 4-8)


> close window to return to jane’s site