Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

A WORLD WITHOUT WATER by Ch. Holley & F. Cassuto -my review no.54

on 03/06/2016

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Ecology is certainly an important topic to discuss with children, so the goal of this book is a worthwhile one. Preserving water is a major issue and the good way to inspire change for the positive is to start with children.

The book is a warning educational rhyme. The illustrations are very detailed and more suitable for school children than preschoolers. It is basically a long rhyme designed to inspire and teach children, and adults, the importance of caring about water; where water is found, why it matters and how we can save it.

Each page is a full-page illustration with 2 lines in rhyme. Rhyming is difficult to do, which everyone who has ever tried it knows, because the writer has to keep the rhythm and convey the message at the same time. At some points rhythm falters here slightly, but this is not a book which is meant for role-play and recitals anyway, although it may inspire them. Perhaps shorter rhyme has more effect, but that depends on the personal taste of the reader or the goal of the educator who uses this book as a teaching tool.

It is normally easier for children to empathize with a problem when there are characters to identify with, which is not the case here, although the serious illustrations will draw attention and inspire care and some serious rethinking. This book is not a fun passtime, unless your child is a nature conservationist, but it has educational and social value, and can help teachers with environment projects. Being a teacher myself, I can imagine quite a few projects where it would come in handy with preteens. Perhaps some similar suggestions might be added in the afterqword to any future editions of the story. The text and illustrations can be used for class projects, discussion, even posters, and a good educator will know how to make the most of it.

(This review was written for the Readers Review Room where I have been invited as guest reviewer, and according to the rating system there, I would give it a blue worm rating on account of its important messge of environment awareness, and the commendable effort which was put into illustrations.)

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