HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World | Book Review
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Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World | Book Review

The Children’s Book Review | March 7, 2019

Water Land- Land and Water Forms Around the WorldWater Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World

Written by Christy Hale

Age Range: 4-7

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (2018)

ISBN: 978-1-250-15244-2

What to Expect: Interactive Format, Sensory Learning, Geography, Bonus Poster.

Sometimes, when it comes to non-fiction, less is definitely more.  Christy Hale’s Water Land is simple in every sense: simple text, plain fonts, a simple and pared-down color palette, and simplified artwork.  The value of this simplicity is not merely it’s beautiful aesthetic, however; through this dedication to simplicity Hale succeeds in turning a straightforward vocabulary primer into exploration of a complex geographical concept: the way in which land and water are interlinked and interdependent.

Water Land makes use of two key design features – a contrasting yellow and blue color palette, and cut-out pages – to visually demonstrate the way land and water balance one another on our planet.  On one page, for example, a hole cut in the yellow sand of one page allows the blue water of the page beneath to show through, captioned by the single word “lake”. Turn the page, however, and that same cut-out now lies against a yellow background , showing an identically-shaped “island” in a sea of blue. The physical act of turning the page, therefore, helps to underscore the idea that land mirrors water, as well as providing multiple sensory stimuli to further aid information retention.  At the end of the volume, Hale has included a full-sized pull-out poster with much more detailed information about each land/water formation, plugging any gaps that the simplicity of the rest of the volume might have left in the reader’s understanding.  Without the poster this is a volume even a young pre-schooler can enjoy.  With the poster, the volume is transformed into a valuable and engaging learning aid for older children as well, and would make a wonderful addition to any classroom bookshelf.  A clever and well-designed volume, Water Land is a joy to read.

Available Here: 

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About the Author-Illustrator

Christy Hale has illustrated numerous award-winning books for children, including two that she also wrote: The East-West House: Noguchi’s Childhood in Japan and Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building. An art director, designer, and educator, Hale teaches writing for picture books at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She lives with her family in Palo Alto, California.

Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World, written and illustrated by Christy Hale, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with , and .

Jen Harrison currently teaches English Composition and Composition Skills at East Stroudsburg University. She completed her PhD in Children's and Victorian Literature at Aberystwyth University in Wales, in the UK. There she also acted as an instructor teaching undergraduate courses on literature and literary theory, as well as further education courses on Children's Literature and Creative Writing. After a brief spell in administration, Jen then trained as a secondary school English teacher, and worked for several years teaching Secondary School English, working independently as a private tutor of English, and working in nursery and primary schools as a substitute teacher. After moving from the UK to the USA in 2016, Jen is very happy to have returned to higher education. Her current research focuses on three primary areas in the field of children’s literature: reader-writer relationships, thing-theory, and the supernatural; she is a reviewer for the International Research Society for the Study of Children’s Literature (IRSCL), as well as the Children's Book Review. Jen also writes an academic blog on Children's Literature, Worrisome Words: http://quantum.esu.edu/faculty/jharrison/. You can also find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.harrison.73594

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