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All the Water in the World by G. E. Lyon



Lyon, George Ella. All the Water in the World. Illus. Katherine Tillotson. New York: Atheneum Books, 2011. Print.

A gorgeous synthesis of poetry and illustration, All the Water in the World imbues complex environmental science concepts with an intense personal immediacy, full of sentiment and expression. The text follows water’s cyclical passage through different levels of the global climate, as it permeates all facets of life on earth. Science and aesthetics are used in inspired collaboration to create a realistic depiction of natural phenomena and an evocation of the innately lyrical and metamorphic quality of water in its diverse and omnipresent manifestations.

Lyon’s adept use of emphasis and repetition perfectly captures the rush and cadence of moving water. She creates a clear discourse focusing on the morality of water conservation and its implications for human equality and preservation of the natural world. Tillotson employs oil paint manipulated through collage, printmaking, and digital techniques to capture the many moods of water, transitioning between cartoonish representation and dynamic, impressionistic imagery.

The charm and immediacy of All the Water in the World comes from its depiction of familiar manifestations of water that will evoke a visceral response in a young audience. The book seamlessly associates those common experiences with the larger natural patterns that water follows, as it interacts with the earth, ocean and atmosphere. All the Water in the World is an emblematic example of how talented writers and illustrators are integrating engagingly vivid non-fiction into young children’s libraries.

Highly Recommended:  4 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Matilda Roche

Matilda spends her days lavishing attention on the University of Alberta’s metadata but children’s illustrated books, literature for young adults and graphic novels also make her heart sing. Her reviews benefit from the critical influence of a four year old daughter and a one year old son – both geniuses. Matilda’s super power is the ability to read comic books aloud.