- Age Range: 6 - 11 years
- Grade Level: 2 - 3
- Lexile Measure: 930 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Children's Book Press; Bilingual edition (October 1, 2014)
- Language: English, Spanish
- ISBN-10: 0892393254
- ISBN-13: 978-0892393251
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.8 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,109,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Water Rolls, Water Rises: El agua rueda, el agua sube (English and Spanish Edition) (Spanish) Hardcover – October 1, 2014
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—In this bilingual book, Mora uses her travels around the world to talk about water in unique ways, while creating varied and compelling imagery. In the Grand Canyon, water is described as "skidding and slipping, swooping round bends, spinning on tree roots, careening down cliffs." Younger readers will enjoy the calmness of the words, while older readers will want to imitate the author's style and try their own hand at descriptive writing. So's watercolor illustrations match the tone of the writing perfectly and capture the different landscapes and cultural nuances. Use this book to introduce the water cycle, land forms, or poetry. Pair it with Splish Splash (HMH, 1994), a poetry book by Joan Bransfield Graham.—Martha Rico, El Paso ISD, TX
Evocative watercolor images and graceful short poems in Spanish and English celebrate water in all its forms and around the world. What appears at first to be a simple expression of the myriad forms of water from waves to clouds, fog and frost and in lazy marshes, churning rivers, breaking waves and more becomes a trip around the world as readers come to realize that the locations and people shown are just as wide-ranging. A picture key at the end identifies the location for each illustration. The cover images, the front inspired by Victoria Falls in southern Africa and the back, a geyser in Iceland, set the stage for the variety inside. Mora's deceptively simple three-line poems are full of imagery, too. "In the murmur of marsh wind, / water slumbers on moss, / whispers soft songs far under frog feet." (In Spanish: "En el viento susurrante de los pantanos, / el agua duerme sobre el musgo, / murmura suaves canciones bajo patitas de ranas.") Watercolors are the perfect accompaniment to this pleasing collection, and So's mastery of her medium is evident in the wide range of her illustrations, some with lines and detail, others with bold brush strokes or delicate shading. She concludes with an image of our watery world and its dry moon from space, an important reminder. A lovely bilingual addition to the "sense of wonder" shelf. --Kirkus Reviews
In this bilingual book, Mora uses her travels around the world to talk about water in unique ways, while creating varied and compelling imagery. In the Grand Canyon, water is described as "skidding and slipping, swooping round bends, spinning on tree roots, careening down cliffs." Younger readers will enjoy the calmness of the words, while older readers will want to imitate the author's style and try their own hand at descriptive writing. So's watercolor illustrations match the tone of the writing perfectly and capture the different landscapes and cultural nuances. Use this book to introduce the water cycle, land forms, or poetry. Pair it with Splish Splash (HMH, 1994), a poetry book by Joan Bransfield Graham. --School Library Journal
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. --Publishers Weekly
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This book is a gem on that basis alone. But wait; it gets better. Each English verse is followed by the Spanish translation. This creates a wonderful opportunity for children to learn some Spanish. For bilingual readers, it offers a chance to read in either language. Each illustration is based on an actual location somewhere in the world. There is a guide at the end of the book that describes the places in more detail.
As an adoptive parent, adoption coach and an author, I review books not specifically about adoption but with an eye to Adoption-attunement and looks for ways that books can support adoptive families. AQ*-- When we review this book through our *Adoption-attuned lens, we glean many positives. The illustrations include a variety of cultures and races. (This is not the focus; it is the backdrop—a reflection of the rich mixture of our world.) Because the illustrations are based on real places, it is easy to segue to an exploration on a map, globe on internet journey. The bilingual text invites readers to try on another language and to listen to poetry through an alternative ear. Water Rolls, Water Rises invites readers to stop and notice the miraculous beauty of our world--a great opportunity to "stop and smells the roses." I thoroughly enjoyed this book and believe you will too! The American Library Association named it a Notable Children’s Book. Published by Lee & Low who specialize in multicultural books.
We start slowly and watch the roll of the tides and the rise of the fog. The water is blown, then slithers and snakes, and in one particularly beautiful passage glides “up roots of tulips and corn.” After that, things pick up a bit. In swells the water sloshes, in woods it swirls, and it all culminates in storms and thunder and “lightning’s white flash.” Then, just as suddenly, all is calm again. Water rests in an oasis and slumbers in marshes. The book concludes with water joyfully “skidding and slipping”, “looping and leaping” until at last we pull back and view for ourselves our blue planet, “under gold sun, under white moon.” The bilingual text in both English and Spanish is complemented by illustrator Meilo So’s mixed media illustrations and contains both an Author’s Note and key for identifying the images in the book in the back.
Now I’ll tell you right now that I don’t speak a lick of Spanish. I’ve the rudimentary single words and phrases culled from years of watching the aforementioned “Sesame Street” but there’s nothing substantial in my noggin. Therefore I cannot honestly tell you if the Spanish translation by Adriana Dominguez and Pat Mora matches the English text's spare verse. Certainly I was impressed with the minimal wordplay Mora chose to use in this book. As someone prone to wordiness (I think the length of this review speaks for itself) I am always most impressed by those writers that can siphon a thought or a description down to its most essential elements. It’s hard to say what you’ll notice first when you read this book. Will it be the words or the art? Mora’s cadences (in English anyway) succeed magnificently in evoking the beauty and majesty of water in its myriad forms. Read the book enough times and you begin to get a real sense of the rise and fall of water’s actions. I also noted that Mora eschews going too deep into her subject matter. The primary concentration is on water as it relates to the landscape worldwide. She doesn’t dwell on something like water’s role in the human body or pepper the text with small sidebars pertaining to facts about water. This is poetry as it relates to liquid. Nothing more. Nothing less.
The bilingual picture book is fast becoming a necessity in the public library setting. Just the other day someone asked if we could have more Bengali/English picture books rather than just straight Bengali, because the parents liked reading both languages to their kids. Yet sadly in the past our bilingual literature has had a rough go of it. Well-intentioned efforts to give these books their own space in the children’s libraries have too often meant that they’re scuttled away in some long-forgotten corner. The patrons who need them most are often too intimidated to ask for them or don’t even know that they exist. So what’s the solution? Interfile them with the English books or all the other languages? Wouldn’t they be just as forgotten in one collection as another? There are no easy answers here and the thought that a book as a beautiful in word and image as “Water Rolls” could end up forgotten is painful to me.
Since this book travels around the world and touches on the lives of people in different lands and nations it is, by its very definition, multicultural. And to be honest, attaining the label of “multicultural” by simply highlighting different nations is easy work. What sets artist Meilo So’s art apart from other books of this sort is her fearless ability to upset expectations. I am thinking in particular of the image of the wild rice harvest in northern Minnesota. In this picture two children punt a boat through marshland. Their skin is brown, a fact that I am sure Ms. So did on purpose. Too often are white kids the “default” race when books that skate around the world make mention of the U.S. It’s as if the publishers forget that people of races aside from white live in America as well as the rest of the world. As such So elevates the standards for your average round-the-world book.
Every book you pick up and read has to pass through your own personal filters and prejudices before it makes a home for itself in your brain. Let us then discuss what it means to be an English-only speaking American woman looking at this book for the first time. I pick up this book and I instantly assume that the cover is sporting an image of Niagara Falls. On the back of the jacket I come to a similar conclusion that we’re viewing Old Faithful. Thus does the American see the world only in terms of those natural wonders that happen to exist within her own nation’s borders. Turns out, that waterfall on the front is Victoria Falls, found between the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe. And that geyser? Strokkur in Iceland. With this in mind you can understand why I was grateful for the little key in the back of the book that clearly identifies and labels (in both English and Spanish) where each location in the images can be found. It was interesting too to see each credit saying that the image was “inspired by” (“inspirada por”) its real world equivalent. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about accuracy in works of illustration in picture books. Mostly I’ve been thinking about historical accuracy, but contemporary landscapes raise their own very interesting questions. If Meilo So came up with the “inspired by” label then it may well be that it was thought up to protect her against critics who might look to her view of the Qutang Gorge, say, and declare her positioning of this or that mountain peak a gross flight of fancy. Since she is illustrating both distinct landmarks (the Grand Canyon, Venice’s Grand Canal, the coast of Cabo San Lucas, etc.) alongside places that typify their regions (a fishing boat at sea in Goa, India, a well in a rural village in Kenya, etc.) it is wise to simply give the “inspired by” designation to all images rather than a few here and there so as to avoid confusion.
After soaking in the art page by page I wondered then how much control Ms. Mora had over these images. Did she designate a country and location for each stanza of her poem? The book sports an Author’s Note (but no Artist’s Note, alas) that mentions the places Ms. Mora has traveled too. Look at the list of locations and they do, indeed, appear in the book (China, Holland, Peru, Finland, etc.). So I make the assumption that she told Ms. So what country to draw, though I don’t know for sure.
As a mother of two small children, both under the age of 4, my interest in early brain development has been piqued. And like any mother I berate myself soundly when I feel like my own personal prejudices are being inflicted on my kids. I don’t go gaga for poetry but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t read it to the kiddos as much as possible. Fortunately, books like “Water Rolls, Water Rises” make the job easy. Easy on the eyes and the ears, this is one clever little book that can slip onto any home library shelf without a second thought. Sublime.
For ages 4-7.
Descriptive words about water like “rolls, rises, waves, strokes, blows, and slithers” produce all sorts of movements, inspiring young children to reproduce these actions while also learning about water’s importance to the world and those within it.
Recommended for ages 4-9.