Richie Partington's Reviews > All the Water in the World

All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon
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Nov 05, 11


28 May 2011 ALL THE WATER IN THE WORLD by George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillotson, Atheneum, March 2011, 40p., ISBN: 978-1-4169-7130-6

"Water doesn't come.
It goes.
Around."

"Fresh water makes up less than 3% of the water on Earth. Over two-thirds of this is tied up in polar ice caps and glaciers. Fresh water lakes and rivers make up only 0.009% of water on Earth and groundwater makes up .28%"
-- Water Wars Worldwide website

"Oh, the water,
Oh, the water,
Oh, the water,
Let it run all over me."
-- Van Morrison, "It Stoned Me"

Being that water is the single most important ingredient in sustaining a human life, it is essential that we pay attention to the increasingly difficult job of providing drinkable water to all of the world's ever-growing population. So it is that we need eye-catching books that educate young people about the water cycle as does ALL THE WATER IN THE WORLD.

Where does your drinking water come from?

I'm fortunate. I live in a place where it rains all winter and I am able to pump water out of the ground whenever I need it. There is plenty for us to wash our dishes, water our garden, and fill up buckets for our Nubian goats.

For much of California, it is becoming a different story. According to a state-wide water agency education program, California's Water: A Crisis We Cannot Ignore, 25 million people and 2.5 million acres of farmland are supplied water from the Sacramento Delta, where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers meet. But with more and more people living in California combined with climate change, and periodic droughts, there are sometimes shortages. And, without a lot of work, the old levees that protect all of the Delta's fresh water from floods and tides could eventually fail -- particularly in the event of a major earthquake. Then what will happen with these millions of people who need fresh water every day?

There are, of course, parts of the world where severe water shortages are a way of life.

"But far away
it's a different day
no sound but wind
empty cup again
dry grasses rustle
dirt's just dust."

ALL THE WATER IN THE WORLD is a poetic text picturebook that combines three of my passions: ecology, poetry, and picturebooks of interest to older readers. The illustrations are filled with raining, flowing, splashing, dripping, wobbling water...until we encounter one of those places where they are waiting for some rain to fall.

"Everything
waits
for an open gate
in a wall of clouds
to rain sweet and loud
to fill the well
and start the stream."

There are a lot of things that we can run out of and still go on living. Fresh water is not one of them.

Richie Partington, MLIS
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