Perfect Picture Book Friday – Water Can Be…

Perfect Picture Book Fridays are the creation of the lovely children’s book author Susanna Leonard Hill. Check in each week on Fridays for new book reviews. Susanna also has a complete list (alphabetically and by theme) of all the book reviews. It’s a wonderful resource if you’re looking for activities for a book, or books focused on a particular theme.

?????Title: Water Can Be

Author: Laura Purdie Salas

Illustrator: Violeta Dabija

Publisher: Millbrook Press

Year: 2014

Genre: Nonfiction picture book

Ages: 5-8

Themes: Water; natural world


Water is water—

it’s puddle, pond sea.

When springtime comes splashing,

the water flows free.

Synopsis: (from publisher’s website)

Water can be a…

• Thirst quencher

• Kid drencher

• Cloud fluffer

• Fire snuffer

Find out about the many roles water plays in this poetic exploration of water throughout the year.

This book is one in a series that includes A Leaf Can Be… and A Rock Can Be… (not yet released).

What makes it great: Fun rhymes and beautiful, evocative illustrations that directly relate to children’s own experiences with water.

What readers notice: My 5-year-old loved looking at the pictures and picked out her favorite (the last page with the ice sculptures). She also liked the invitation at the end of the story to think about what else water can be, and came up with ‘mist’ and ‘smoke’ (which led to a nice little discussion about the difference between smoke and steam).

What a writer notices: 

I was really blown away by the unique concepts that Laura came up with for this book and how she expressed them in rhyme. It would have been easy to fall back on the tried-and-true, but she went for the unexpected every time. This spread is just one example:




Activities/Links to Resources: 

Laura Salas’ website includes trailers and classroom activities for her books. Activities for Water Can Be will be added soon.


Pinterest board of preschool-level water lessons:


Round up of water-related lessons for younger and older students:

23 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Water Can Be…

  1. patientdreamer says:

    Oh my! I am seeing double tonight…lol. This is obviously a beautiful book. Since you and Vivian have both reviewed it this week. I must see if I can find it. It is so dream-like, and evocative in both text and illustrations. Loving those you have posted, Carrie.

  2. tinamcho says:

    Lovely! I’ve heard a lot about Laura’s book,but you’re the first to share actual poetry from it. The book is very creative!

  3. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    Hmm. After this review, I need to bump this higher on my reading list. I’m interested in the unique concepts as a writer. Thanks for sharing this one.

  4. viviankirkfield says:

    Great review! That is so funny, Carrie…we both reviewed Laura’s book today.:) I had told Laura I would do it today because the book is just hitting the shelves…but this is great because there will be twice as much chance that people will pick up a copy.:) Wasn’t it so beautiful? And what struck me was the ultra sparse, yet lyrically beautiful text. I guess it can be done.:)

  5. Laura Purdie Salas says:

    Carrie–thank you so much! I’ve been out of town and missed this. What a very lovely review. I love how it led to a discussion about the difference between fog and smoke! Thank you for the various links–I’m off to check them out! (And also thank you to everyone who had such nice things to say about WATER–what a great Sunday night pick-me-up those are:>)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s