Nonfiction Picture Book Perfection: WATER IS WATER

This is the third in my series of nonfiction picture book reviews (read the first and second) that explores what makes outstanding nonfiction. Have a nonfiction picture book you love? Let me know in comments!

WATER IS WATER (written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin) is a book that I beg my children to read–not that they object. It’s the kind of book that amazes me with its simplicity and poetry. The kind of book I wish I wrote.


Photo credit: my four-year-old.

WATER IS WATER follows the water cycle. It has a wonderful concept, built-in tension for every page turn, perfect rhyme, and a satisfying conclusion (not always easy to pull-off in nonfiction). It is simple, but never simplistic–a great feat for a picture book in my opinion.

Each part of the water cycle is described with kid-relatable examples that celebrate the simple joys of childhood. I love that Paul has taken a science concept and turned it into something familiar and wondrous, beautiful and inviting.

Jason Chin’s art adds an entire storyline that is exclusively told in the illustrations, which perfectly compliments Paul’s sparse poetry.

This book is one my toddler begs for again and again (and he’s not my bookworm child) and one I adore reading.


water is water

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