Posted by Rebecca G. Aguilar, M.Ed. on October 9, 2014
Water Rolls, Water Rises: El Agua Rueda, El Agua Sube
By Pat Mora; Illustrated By Meilo So
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Publication date: 10/1/2014
Children’s book author Pat Mora, as a denizen of the Southwest desert region of the United States, is fascinated by water. She is enthralled by what a little rain can do for the arid landscape near her home in Santa Fe. She marvels at the value of water as a natural resource in her travels to India, China, Holland, Peru, Finland, Greece and Mexico.
Now, she pens a sentimental journey of H2O in a new picture book, Water Rolls, Water Rises: El Agua Rueda, El Agua Sube.
A young audience will appreciate Mora’s free verse in both English and Spanish, making the book an exceptional read-aloud. Stunning seafoam, starry sky and white water illustrations by Meilo So depict the natural beauty of fourteen separate waterscapes around the world.
Clean water rising from the bottom of a deep well echoes the vital function it serves a rural village in Kenya.
Filling deep wells,
water hums in the dark,
sloshes in buckets, quenches our thirst.
Llenando hondos pozos,
el aqua susurra en la oscuridad,
salpica en baldes, nos apaga la sed.
The ferocity of rolling water is depicted with a menacing grey sky over Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile.
In storms, water plunges
in thunder’s brash roar,
races through branches from lightning’s white flash.
En las tormentas, el agua se sumerge
en el intrépido rugido del trueno
de rama en rama huye del blanco destello del relámpago.
This impressive collaboration by Mora and So poetically renders water with emotional qualities like joy or power, calm or yearning. Compare the inner life of water in a wild rice marsh in northern Minnesota and the playful searching of a spring near a village in Peloponnese, Greece. Both are captured brilliantly in Water Rolls, Water Rises without pretention or triteness.
In the murmur of marsh wind,
water slumbers on moss,
whispers soft songs far under frog feet. (p. 22)
Water burbles in springs,
gurgles and turns
down streams and rivers seeking the sea. (p. 24)
Pat Mora is an award-winning author of numerous children’s books of nonfiction, poetry and folklore including Doña Flor: A Tall Tale about a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart.
Meilo So is an award-winning picture book artist originally from Hong Kong and now living in the Shetland Isles.
Lee & Low Books is an independent publisher of multicultural literature for young readers.