Friday, January 18, 2013

Water (Part 2)

You certainly could travel the world while doing a unit of work on water using picture books. You could use a globe or world map and locate the places. The books also provide ample opportunities to use text-to-text and text-to-world activities. In this blog I want to highlight books that look at people and their relationship to water or a life-changing event that water features in.

First to Africa:
Limpopo Lullaby by Jane Jolly and Dee Huxley. This very moving story, which is based on a real incident in Mozambique tells of how Josette, a mother has to climb a huge milkwood tree with her two young children during a flood caused when the Limpopo River bursts its banks.
Rain School by James Rumerford tells the story of starting school at the beginning of the year and having to build the school, only to see it fall apart again when the rain comes.
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema and Beatriz Vidal is a cumulative tale that concentrates on breaking a drought.
• When the Rains Come  by Tom Pow and Malika Favre is really two stories. One is about how difficult life can be for some children in Africa and as they are cared for by Grandmother Rose she tells them the story of Tortoise and the Drought. Money from the sale of this book helps mothers in Malawi.
The Day the Rains Fell by Anne Faundez and Karin Littlewood. This is a creation story set in Africa. Lindiwe takes her daughter to Earth to show her beauty but finds drought and thirsty animals so has to find a way to make the Earth well again.

Children of the Yangtze River by Svend Otto S. This book is old but a gem. It should be republished. I have never shared this with a class without them being in total awe. Great for teaching empathy. It tells the story of Mei Mei who lives in China on the banks of the Yangtze River. The river breaks its banks and the whole village is involved in moving stock and belongings, but much was lost..."now all the houses and fields had disappeared...all the crops had washed away." As the river subsides Mei Mei and her family begin the massive clean up. The ending is joyous.
Grandfather's Dream by Holly Keller is set in the delta of the Mekong delta in Vietnam, where canals built during the Vietnam War affected the wetlands and the natural flow of water. In this story a grandfather tells his granddaughter, Nam about the effects of this and about the loss of habitat for cranes. The library's copy of this book has been so well read it is about to fall apart.
Monsoon by Uma Krishnaswami and Jamel Akib is like many of the books set in Australia. It tells of a family waiting for rain in India and then the pleasure that comes with it. There is an interesting afterword explaining monsoons and their role in South East Asia.
Trishna and the Dream of Water by Carole Douglis and Adrienne Kennaway is also set in India. It is the time of Diwali and Trishna is sent to the well to get water. She dreams of living somewhere where there is water all year long.
The Flute by Rachna Gilmore and Pilak Biwas. This story needs discussion. It is also set in India and it starts with a catastrophic flood that sweeps away Chandra's parents. She finds solace in her mother's flute music and never gives up hope that her life will improve. She is extremely resilient The endpapers are very special and should inspire some interesting artworks.

This was harder, I only could only think of one, the story of the boy who put his finger in the dike to stop his low-lying village in Holland from flooding. Here are two versions of the longer Mary Mapes Dodge's story that I know of:
The Hole in the Dike by Norma B. Green and Eric Carle.
The Boy Who Held Back the Sea by Thomas Locker and Lenny Hort.

Come on, Rain! by Karen Hesse and Jon J. Muth. Like so many of the others, this is the story of a young girl who desperately wants it to rain and then it does and she celebrates by dancing with her friends... "wet slicking our arms and legs, we splash up the block, squealing and whooping in the steaming rain."
Flood by Mary Calhoun and Erick Ingraham tells the story Sarajean who lives through the 1993 Midwest floods when the Mississippi damaged homes and sent inhabitants to higher land.
Flood by Alvaro F. Villa This wordless book is new and I haven't yet seen it, so I have linked you where I learned of it. I have ordered it and I am waiting...a bit like waiting for rain!

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