Hey, Water!
by Portis, Antoinette

The Geisel Honor-winning creator of Not a Box presents the story of a spunky little girl who observes how water appears in many different shapes and forms everywhere, from nature and the weather to her home and her own body.

Antoinette Portis is a decorated picture book author/illustrator. Her picture books have garnered wide acclaim and many starred review, including ALA Notable Books Wait and Now. She was awarded a Geisel Honor for Not a Box, which was also a New York Times Best Illustrated Book, and a Sibert Honor for Hey, Water! She is also the author of A New Green Day. A former creative director at Disney, she lives in Southern California.

A girl talks to water about its varied qualities. First, she acknowledges its liquid form, pouring from faucets, spraying from showers and sprinklers, and flowing into stream, river, and ocean. There are quiet lakes and noisy pools, sliding teardrops and pouring rain. She also recognizes water vapor in steam, clouds, and fog. Frozen water can be "hard as rock" (ice cube, iceberg, ice rink) or "soft as a feather" (snow). But in any form, "Hey, water, thank you!" The text creates an easy-going, conversational tone while maintaining a good balance of scientific knowledge, everyday observation, and a child's perspective. In the book's artwork, sumi ink brush drawings delineate forms, while color is added digitally. The brushstrokes bring a sense of spontaneity and energy to the scenes, which show up beautifully from a distance. A large, labeled picture illustrates the water cycle. Appended pages include more detailed discussions of water's different forms as well as the importance of conservation. A handsome picture book that's well suited to reading aloud, especially for classroom units on water. Preschool-Grade 2. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Portis' latest picture book is a joyful, lyrical celebration of water. In it, protagonist Zoe (the name is revealed only at the end of the book) realizes that water is "all around" and discovers it everywhere: in her home, in nature, in her community, and in herself ("sometimes you slide down my cheek without a sound"). From page to page and, subtly, through the seasons, she engages in a game of hide-and-seek with water's many states—from ice ("Sometimes you freeze hard as a rock—a rock that floats, / or a rock we can skate on") to steam ("Water, even when you try to fool me, I know you. You blast and huff. You whistle and puff"). Through it all, as she declares at the end, "water, I know it's you!" Done with brush and sumi ink and then digitally colored, Portis' bold illustrations undulate on the page—raindrops roar and pour; dwarfing a whale, oceans surge (even on the endpapers). Words describing the different types of water celebrated ("shower"; "puddle"; "fog") are printed in a large font that harmonizes with the illustrations' brushy look. The picture book also includes informative backmatter: an illustration of the water cycle, a manifesto to conserve water, and a list of additional resources about water and water experiments. Zoe has brown skin and straight, black hair. An energetic and literary introduction to water science by the author/illustrator of the award-winning Not a Box (2006). (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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