This is the 2003 winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award:
Levy, Constance. 2002. Splash! Poems of Our Watery World. New York: Orchard.
Here is a Digital Trailer for SPLASH! POEMS OF OUR WATERY WORLD created by graduate student Angela Villarreal-Gill.
Here is a Readers' Guide for SPLASH created by graduate student Sarah Assousa.
Recommended age level: 8-12
1. Summary of book
This collection of 34 poems explores water in its various forms from the tiniest dew drop to the mighty ocean. The poems also look at a range of uses such as swimming, sailing, and laundry. Levy includes a fascinating assortment of poems, some rhyming, some not, but all with a lovely fluidity. The occasional illustrations of David Soman are done in the same deep blue color as the text and serve to enhance the tone of the selections.
2. Review excerpts/ awards
-Winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Award.
-Nominee for the 2004-2005 William Allen White Children's Book Award.
-The Book Report starred review: "Water in all its forms is celebrated in this fluid collection of 34 lovely, lively, image-evoking, thought-provoking poems examining the wet element.”
-Horn Book Magazine: "Encompassing both the lively and reflective natures of H2O, the thirty-four poems here demonstrate a telling sense of rhythm."
-School Library Journal: "The variety of voices, all a mixture of praise, delight, and celebration, makes this a first choice for all collections."
-Booklist: "This is an accessible, charming collection with imaginative kid-friendly similes and metaphors and poems that run the gamut from lyrical to playful.
3. Questions to ask before reading book
-When you think of water, what comes to mind?
-What kinds of things do you do with water?
-What kinds of things do you do in water?
-What sounds does water make?
-Who lives in the water?
4. Suggestions for reading poems aloud
-Read "River Games" aloud. Then let the children read in unison. See how loud they can WHAM! into the dam.
-For "Water Wizard," divide the group into two smaller groups. Have group A read lines 1, 4, 5 ,8, and 9. Have group B read lines 2, 3, 6, 7, 10 and 11. Do this with a call and response feel with all groups members reading lines 12 and 13.
-Ask for three volunteers. Have each of them read a stanza of "Teatime" like they were actually sitting around having tea. Have the person who reads the first stanza read the last stanza as well.
-Divide the group into three parts. Have each subgroup read a sentence of "Splash!" Encourage the group to help the stream "flow."
5. Follow up activities
Art-Water drop painting: Have the children make abstract paintings by dripping colored water onto white paper. See if the drip pattern changes if done from different heights.
Science- Use a medicine dropper to drop water onto a penny, one drop at a time. How many drops will the penny hold before the water spills? (The answer may surprise you!) Try the same water experiment with water that has a little detergent in it. Try the same thing comparing the heads and tails.
Geography-Read "River Games" then bring out a map and find the closest river to your town. Does it go WHAM into a dam?
P.E.-Have a water balloon toss.
Recess-Read "Soap Bubbles" then let the children blow bubbles of their own.
6. Related web sites/blogs
-Visit the author's web site: http://www.constancelevy.com/index.htm
Lots of ideas for kid-friendly water experiments.
-Visit the EPA's kid-friendly explanation of the water cycle at http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/kids/flash/flash_watercycle.html
-For poetry suggestions, try Sylvia Vardell's blog at http://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com/
7. Related books
Other children's poetry books about water:
-Fletcher, Ralph. 1991. Water Planet. Language for Learning Associates.
-Graham, Joan Bransfield. 1994. Splish Splash. Ill. by Steven Scott. New York: Ticknor & Fields.
-Michael, Pamela, ed. 2008. River of Words: Young Poets and Artists on the Nature of Things. Minneapolis, Minn.: Milkweed Editions.
-Yolen, Jane. 1995. Water Music: Poems for Children. Honesdale, Pa.: Wordsong.
Children's nonfiction books about water:
-Flanagan, Alice K. 2001. Water. Minneapolis, Minn.: Compass Point Books.
-Holyer, Beatrice. 2009. Our World of Water: Children and Water around the World. New York: Henry Holt and Co.
-Swanson, Diane. 2005. The Wonder in Water. Toronto: Annick Press.
Fictional books with a water theme:
-Doyle, Malachy. 2003. Splash, Joshua Splash! New York: Bloomsbury Children's Books.
-McPhail, David. 2007. Water Boy. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers.
-Schmid, Eleonore. 1990. The Water's Journey. New York: North-South Books.
-Weninger, Brigitte. 2002. Precious Water: A Book of Thanks. New York: North-South Books.