The United Nations has declared 2013 as the International Year of Water. Celebrations are planned around the world (click here to see photos from World Water Day celebrations held March 22) and community and school programs in many countries plan to celebrate the Year with reading, performing and creating water-themed stories. Here are some suggestions on children’s books that can be incorporated into International Year of Water celebrations:
Check out PaperTigers’ Jan/June 2012 issue The Theme of Water in Multicultural Children’s Books. Interviews, author galleries, personal view pieces and annotated reading lists all centered on multicultural picture books with water at their heart.
Water-themed children’s stories will be highlighted at the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content next month in Singapore under the banner Project Splash Asia! PaperTigers is working with The National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) and Dr. Myra Garces-Bacsal to compile a bibliography of Asian themed children’s stories with water content. Stay tuned to the blog and I’ll talk more about this project tomorrow.
Tulika Books has announced that their award-winning anthology, Water Stories From Around The World, is now available as a free downloadable e-book!
Also from Tulika is the news that Vinood Lal Heera Eshwer’s newest book Let’s Catch the Rain has been released. The message in this book may be simple but is powerful; rainwater is free, pure and precious – we must save it. Visit www.catchtherain.org to watch a film on rainwater harvesting and play a game based on the book.
Alma Fullerton and Karen Patkau’s picture book A Good Trade has been receiving rave reviews since it was released in Canada in the Fall of 2012 and has been selected as a title for the 2013 White Ravens catelogue, a list of outstanding international books for children and young adults chosen annually by the International Youth Library in Munich.
In a small Ugandan village, Kato wakes early to start the long, barefoot trek beyond his village and along fields dotted with cattle and guarded by soldiers. His destination is the village well, where he will pump a day’s supply of water into two jerry cans. Like every day, Kato lets the water splash over his hot, tired feet before carrying his heavy load back home, where his chores await him. But this is no ordinary day. The aid-worker’s truck has come to the village square, and in the back is a gift so special, the little boy rushes home to look for something to repay the aid-worker.
Alma Fullerton’s spare, lilting prose tells a deceptively simple story of one day in a little boy’s life. But in a place ravaged by a generation of civil war and drought, a village well brings life, a gift of shoes is a cause for celebration, and a simple flower becomes an eloquent symbol of peace and gratitude.