Water Boy

Water Boy by David McPhail.

A boy is told by his teacher that he is mostly water, and the story begins.  At first he worries that if he is scratched water will pour out of him or that he will turn to ice in the winter, but soon he finds himself drawn to water.  His grandmother makes him a sweater of ocean blue and he wears it every day.  But then strange watery things start to happen and he finds a power that he would never have imagined he had.

McPhail has the ability to create amazing stories that envelop a reader, leading them further and further along a fantastic path.  I believe his realistic art style adds to the sense of a fantasy that is real.  The softness of the illustrations and their rather old-fashioned feel create a sense of home and warmth on each page, even when waves are singing and raindrops are balanced on tips of fingers. 

This is a great first taste of reality-based fantasy, allowing children to see fantasy as not just books with monsters, dragons and wizards.  Instead it is a book about how the tangible can become strange and different through a single child.  And what power that is to give our children. 

Share this during units on weather or liquids/solids.  It is a great addition to rainy day story times as well.  Recommended for Kindergarteners and first graders on moist and misty days or the driest of summer weather.