The Water Lady: How Darlene Arviso Helps a Thirsty Navajo Nation

Alice B. McGinty, illus. by Shonto Begay. Random House/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (44p) ISBN 978-0-52-564500-9
Through the story of a fictional Diné boy named Cody, McGinty introduces Darlene Arviso, known as the Water Lady, who delivers water to Navajo Nation families that do not have running water (40%, per an author’s note). Waking to discover that his mother has used the last of the family’s water supply, Cody worries about their farm animals and himself: “the sun will blaze from the sky, another scorching day in the high desert. And he is thirsty.” As Cody’s grandmother relays to him the story of the Water Sprinkler, “the Navajo God of Water who collects water in a jar and sprinkles it” in all directions, Arviso finishes her job driving a school bus, then visits a water tower to fill a tanker truck with 3,000 gallons before steering to Cody’s home, and to others’. Navajo artist Begay’s vibrant ink and watercolor art brings a stirring emotional undercurrent to this community-oriented narrative. An author’s note discusses the story’s origins in a ride McGinty took with Arviso, who contributes a note of her own. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 02/18/2021
Release date: 03/30/2021
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 40 pages - 978-0-525-64501-6
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