Earth’s water is (almost) everywhere: above the Earth in the air and in the clouds, in rivers, oceans, ice, in plants, and dogs, and inside the Earth in the top few miles of the ground. Only 2.5% of it is freshwater, useful for life to survive.
Children need to be educated right from the start to make water conservation as a daily habit. So how do you start talking to kids who love playing in the water and are so used to seeing it flow effortlessly from the tap, and tell them about the intense need to save it?
Here is a list of 20 books, filled with interesting ideas, stories and pictures – from all over the world – to talk to children about how every drop counts.
1. Boondi’s story: WATER by Shubhangi Goel, Sankhalina Nath, Rajasee Ray and Anushka Kalro is a 5-series story of playful Boondi, a water drop who plays in the river. One day he feels that he is being lifted up in the sky.
2. Water stories from around the world by Sandhya Rao, Radhika Menon. This timely collection retells stories from mythology and folklore to focus on the need to protect, conserve and value water.
3. Ma Ganga and Razai Box by Geeta Dharmarajan. Go splashing and gurgling with the Ganga into Yasho’s razai box come out of it to see barren hills turn verdant again.
4. Let’s Catch The Rain by Vinod Lal Heera Eshwar on rainwater that is free, pure and precious. The book also has an app on catchtherain.org for children to literally catch every drop. Go, play and save!
5.Clean Water For Elirose- by Ariah Fine. A children’s picture book about the lack of clean drinking water in the world and how we can help.
6. A Drop Around the World written by Barbara Shaw McKinney and illustrated by Michael S. Maydak, is a journey from Maine to Mumbai, with just one raindrop, a drop that touches plant, animal and human life all around the world.
7. Raindrops by Vaishali Shroff. Soaked in soft watercolours page after page, with pictures depicting rainy day delights, the book thrills from page 1.
8. The Talaabs of Darbhanga – by Anupam Mishra and Prashant Soni. A story that delivers both for the values of the principal characters and the message on water conservation.
9. The Water Catchers by Bhairavi Parekh is a story of Chintu’s adventurous trip through prophecies, superstitions, divining and more to get to Tintodan, where he hopes to finally discover the magic of water.
10. All the water in the world by George Ella Lyon explains the water cycle, the importance of water in our lives, and inspires us to “keep it clear, keep it clean.”
11. Narmada by Parthiv Shah and Vidya Shah. Join Aadi and Avani as they learn about the special bond that exists between the Narmada and the people who have lived on her banks since centuries.
12. Water sings blue by Kate Coombs and illustrated my Meilo So. This book with its amazing collection of poetry takes you to the world of beauty and power, the depth and mystery, and the endless resonance of the sea.
13. A drop of water by Gordon Morrison. The book reads like a worship of the element Water. With lively water colour illustrations and subtle text, Morrison shows us the qualities that make this life giving element “a drink without equal”.
14. Did a Dinosaur Drink This Water? by Robert E. Wells explains the water cycle and also touches on water pollution and our responsibility to keep our water clean.
15. Water Dance by Thomas Locker. Travel with author-illustrator Thomas Locker and follow our planet’s most precious resource–water–on its daily journey through our world.
16. Precious Water, a Book of Thanks by Brigitte Weninger, Anne Möller. A young girl celebrates our most precious natural resource- water. Beautifully illustrated, this book talks about water’s importance to all living things, and expresses the gratitude for this gift from nature.
17. The Drop In My Drink: The Story Of Water On Our Planet by Meredith Hooper. This book talks about where the marvellous liquid come from? How does it behave?
18. The Drop Goes Plop: A First Look At The Water Cycle by Sam Godwin. This beautifully illustrated book narrates the story of the water cycle and how it works.
19. A Drop Of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder by Walter Wick. This book comprises amazing photographs. The camera stops the action and magnifies it so that all the amazing states of water can be observed – water as ice, rainbow, stream, frost, dew.
20. River Song: With the Banana Slug String Band by Steve Van Zandt. The book celebrates rivers as a fascinating, ever-changing source of life and joy. The attached CD presents a vibrant rendition from a band.
This is part of the August Read With Me special series on children reading for a better tomorrow.
As parents, educators, readers and writers, we know how important it is to get children – from infants to young adults – to be readers, and readers for life. Read With Me all this month looks to encourage children to read more. We are also talking about reading that goes much beyond a good tale – as vibrant, fun and effective ways to get children to connect to themselves, their roots, accept difference, understand people and places and be more sensitive. All of August, The Alternative says Read With Me – read more and read for change.