Water – Olga Fadeeva

Water: Discovering the Precious Resource All Around Us by Olga Fadeeva, Lena Traer
Also by this author: Wind: Discovering Air in Motion, On the Edge of the World
Published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers on April 9, 2024
Genres: Children's, Children's Educational
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A curiosity-sparking book about water in rainstorms, the Great Lakes, the drip from our taps, and other places in our world.

Water is everywhere, and we rely on it every single day. But do you ever wonder about water? How much water is on our planet? What happens when there is too much water or too little water? Why does it rain? What are lakes, rivers, seas, and oceans? Why are the seas and oceans blue and salty? What lives underwater? What about water in human history—how did people get water in ancient times? How do we get water today? What do humans build to travel on the water, and how have we harnessed waterpower? How do we protect this amazing resource for the future?

Gorgeous and informative, Water invites children to tour through science and history with two characters they may recognize from Wind: Discovering Air in Motion. Colorful acrylic art and energetic text help readers learn about the natural resource we have depended on since the beginning of life itself.

Water. It’s the stuff of life. Following their previous book, Wind, Russian author and illustrator Olga Fadeeva takes young readers into an informative and engaging conversation about the liquid of life.

Each two-page panel in the book asks and answers a question:

  • Does water make you wonder? (An introduction)
  • How much water is there on earth?
  • Why does it rain?
  • Is there water underground?
  • How do rivers form?
  • How are rainbows and water related?
  • What are lakes?
  • How is a sea different from an ocean?
  • How is an ocean different from a sea?
  • Why are the seas and the oceans salty?
  • Why are the seas and the oceans blue?
  • Who are the involuntary travelers in our oceans? (Icebergs!)

And that’s only about half of them. Fadeeva’s answers are well-researched and beautifully illustrated. The language isn’t quite technical, but doesn’t shy away from using more complex terms, making this best for upper elementary students. The formatting and structure are engaging and the content is relevant. Having read a lot of educational books like this with my kid, most of them just aren’t that well-written. Water offers an array of interesting and engaging facts and knows how to balance being thorough against just info-dumping. All of this is made more impressive by the fact that Water was originally published in Russian. Lena Traer gives readers a translation that feels natural and retains accuracy.

Fadeeva’s illustrations absolutely shine. With an array of blues and swirling paint strokes, she invites readers to dive into learning, offering eye-catching views that perfectly complement the text. It’s especially fitting that Fadeeva utilizes watercolors for the illustrations—in fact, a postscript to the book says that about 10 liters of later were used in the making of the art for the book.

Water is a must-have for elementary school libraries. I can’t wait to see what element Fadeeva introduces readers to next!