cover image Water Rolls, Water Rises/ El agua rueda, el agua sube

Water Rolls, Water Rises/ El agua rueda, el agua sube

Pat Mora, illus. by Meilo So. Lee & Low/Children’s Book Press, $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-89239-325-1

In a bilingual tribute to water with a truly global scope, Mora’s (I Pledge Allegiance) verse and So’s (Brush of the Gods) spare mixed-media illustrations swing from placid to tempestuous, creating an effective and fitting ebb and flow. A description of a peaceful river scene inspired by the Yangtze (“Slow into rivers/ water slithers and snakes/ through silent canyons at twilight and dawn”) contrasts with an evocation of a violent Patagonia sea (“In storms, water plunges/ in thunder’s brash roar,/ races through branches from lightning’s white flash”). So’s palette also shifts to suit the vista: children in Finland play by a brook framed by brilliant fall foliage, while smoky grays dominate a hushed scene featuring the human and feline residents of Venice, enshrouded in fog. Some of the images and allusions suggest water’s life-sustaining power: men fish in India, Kenyan women fetch water from a well, and in the canals of Holland, “water streams, water slides,/ gliding up roots of tulips and corn.” An expressive celebration of the world’s waterscapes. Ages 6–11. Illustrator’s agent: Sally Heflin, Heflinreps. (Oct.)