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Forthcoming Spring 2019


Todos iguales/all equal
Un corrido de/A Ballad of
Lemon Grove

written and illustrated by Christy Hale
Lee & Low Books




Water Land: Land & Water Forms Around the World
by Christy Hale
(A Neal Porter Book/Roaring Brook Press, 2018)
Buy this book
Award-winning author and artist Christy Hale creates exciting visual links between the many forms of land and water in our world. Brightly illustrated environments showcase ten land and water masses. With each turn of a die-cut page comes a transformation; watch the shape of a lake become the shape of an island, a bay . . . a cape, a strait . . . an isthmus, a system of lakes . . . an archipelago, and a gulf . . . a peninsula. Each scenic example is labeled, and at the back of the book, a chart defines each term and provides a quick visual reference. A large foldout world map introduces children to oceans and continents, and pinpoints examples of the ten land and water forms. An accompanying legend lists additional land and water forms to find all around the world.
awards • reviews
★ This inventive and informative book introduces aquatic-related geographic concepts. Each full-page spread has a single term—such as cape or archipelago—set on a happy scene of diverse groups of people interacting with and enjoying the environment, from recreation to transportation to pirate spotting. And for each one, the concept itself is depicted with an imaginative die cut that, with the turn of a page, transforms a gulf into a peninsula, or a straight into an isthmus, and so forth, demonstrating how one is often the opposite of the other. There are 10 in total, each of which has, in the back matter, an illustrated definition that elucidates those opposites (“A lake is a body of water surrounded by land. An island is a piece of land surrounded by water”), and, in a large fold-out map, an example of where one can be found on earth along with a list of some distinctive examples, such as the lake cluster of Pokhara Valley in Nepal and South Africa’s Walker Bay. There are fun details to pore over in each textured picture, which draw on Hale’s particular skill with nature scenes, and the pages are sturdy, well designed, and quite charming.
— Andrew Medlar, Booklist, starred review

★ Die-cuts serve both useful and playful purpose in this introduction to Earth’s various meetings of water and landforms. A boy idyllically fishes on a small pond while a girl plays with falling leaves ashore; turn the page, and the pond becomes an island on which the girl is marooned, one red leaf having morphed into a campfire puffing an SOS to the still-daydreaming boy, now fishing in the ocean! The cleverness continues as a bay becomes a cape, a strait an isthmus, and so on, with funny little human dramas to encourage close examination. A blue and beige color scheme provides a clear focus, while drops of other colors sketch the extra credit stories. There is considerable bonus material in the form of a spectacular closing foldout, three times the size of the book, with definitions of the geographic terms on one side and the whole planet on the other, encouraging readers to use the map to explore these land and water forms themselves. Heavy cardstock pages will stand up to much perusal.
—Roger Sutton, The Horn Book, starred review

As the subtitle indicates, Hale contrasts five water forms with five landforms in her minimalist informational picture book. On the verso of the first double-page spread, a child revels in a windy swirl of falling maple leaves against a butter-yellow background, while on the recto another lounges in a boat on a small, clear blue body of water. The word “lake” is printed in boldface type above that body of water, the color precisely matching that of the water. Turning the page, readers see the lake is actually a die cut: the lake-shaped hole from the previous page is now an island-shaped hole, filled in with the yellow background from the previous spread. The word “island” sits underneath, its color matching the sands of the landform it represents. Hale’s art is playful and appealing but never overwhelming or distracting as she uses the die cuts and precise color to establish unmistakable visual connections. A diversity of skin tones and implied genders are included in each spread, although there is no diversity of body shape nor visual hints at disability. Logically, the concepts depend on forms where land and water meet: lake and island, bay and cape, strait and isthmus, system of lakes and archipelago, gulf and peninsula. An end foldout provides a map, form definitions, and example locations across the globe. The die cuts dividing water from land are vulnerable to little hands, but their value more than delivers. (Informational picture book. 4-8)
Kirkus Reviews

“An obvious choice for units on geography and water, this title will also inspire creative image making.”
School Library Journal/ The Classroom Bookshelf
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Click on each activity for a downloadable PDF.
lake or islanddefinition book
story cardsmap4birds