Water in the Park: A Book about Water and the Times of the Day by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
This picture book opens with the sun rising just before six in the morning on the park. The turtles warm their shells in the pond and the glow of the sun lights the water. Dogs and their owners arrive for their morning walks. When they arrive, the turtles slip back under the water. By seven, babies have arrived at the park and are getting their drinks from the drinking fountain and setting up for a day of play. At eight, the sprinkles in the water play area are turned on. The day progresses with puddles, plants being watered, an ice cream truck, people cooling off in the shade, and lots of splashing. In the evening, the rain comes and everyone clears out of the park, leaving it again to the turtles and the silence.
Purely satisfying, this book shows the cyclical nature of the day as well as the water cycle too. All of the many ways that people use water in a park are shown here with a glorious sense of watching people’s lives from a bit away. We get to know the personalities of children and dogs, the joy of the sprinklers, the heat of the day, and the merriment of a full day spent at the park. It is also a celebration of the neighborhood park, where people from all over come together in a love of green space and water.
Graegin’s illustrations are filled with small touches that make them a pleasure to explore. This book is not ideal for sharing with larger groups because so much of its charm is in the details. It is those details that let us get to know the different people and animals without any explanation. Small dramas play out in these pictures.
A wonderful book, this story will speak to children from both country and urban settings who know the joys of parks, ponds and community. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from digital galley received from Edelweiss.