Crisp, clear and concise are the words to sum up Buffy Silverman’s book Saving Water: The Water Cycle. Nothing is wasteful or sloppy. The clean photographs, the neatly drawn illustrations and the confident, professional tone remind one of a fresh, cool glass of water. It isn’t fancy, but does its job well and fills an important role.
With recent emphasis on issues such as global warming and energy, the importance of saving water has dropped somewhat from public awareness. It remains, however, an issue critical to the future. Here in Arizona, we are triply aware of the vital nature of water as a resource because we have so little rain. Saving Water shows how much we need fresh water, some of the unique properties of water, and also ways to conserve it.
Silverman’s book will be popular with both educators and children doing science projects because it is full of hands-on experiments. For example, the “Changing Density” experiment on page 12 distills to the essentials how water changes density with temperature. In the corner on a yellow sticky-note graphic is a short list of the materials you will need to perform the experiment. In four simple steps she lays out the instructions. Silverman gets high marks in my book because she doesn’t give the expected results with the experiment. Instead, she gives the essential questions to ask, which leads children to further questions. I will be using the activities in this book next time I teach about water.
On the back of the book, Silverman acknowledges that she always learns something new when she writes about science, and how writing this book motivated her to get a rain barrel for her home. Hopefully children reading this book will be similarly inspired.
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Heinemann Library (August 15, 2008)
Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.5 x 0.4 inches
Saving Water: The Water Cycle (Do It Yourself) by Buffy Silverman
Next week Nonfiction Monday will be here.