April Showers: Books about the Water Cycle

With April comes spring, and with spring (often) comes lots of rain. This time of year, we become especially aware of the fact that water is all around us, falling from the sky, rushing in streams and rivers, saturating the winter-dry air with humidity. Now is a great time to explore books with children about the powerful natural force that is the water cycle, shaping our planet since it was first formed. When searching for books about the water cycle, try searching the subject phrases “juvenile literature” or “juvenile fiction” with subject phrases like “water (or hydrologic) cycle,’ “hydrology,” “rain and rainfall,” or just “water.”

Picture Books

Base, Graeme.
The Water Hole. 2001.
As ever growing numbers of animals visit a watering hole, introducing the numbers from one to ten, the water dwindles.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. B291w]

Cole, Joanna.
The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks. 1986.
When Ms. Frizzle, the strangest teacher in school, takes her class on a field trip to the waterworks, everyone ends up experiencing the water purification system from the inside.
[SSHEL S Collection SE.C675M]

Frasier, Debra.
The Incredible Water Show. 2004.
Elementary school students present the water cycle as acts in a play where water is the real star.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. F864i]

Glaser, Omri.
Round the Garden. 1999.
Traces the journey of a tear as it falls to the ground, evaporates, reappears as rain, and waters a garden to make an onion grow to produce more tears.
[SSHEL Oak Street SE. G4621r]

Locker, Thomas.
Water Dance. 1997.
Water speaks of its existence in such forms as storm clouds, mist, rainbows, and rivers. Includes factual information on the water cycle.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.L7963w]

Reynolds, Paul A.
Full STEAM Ahead! 2014.
Twins Sydney and Simon learn about the water cycle and use science, technology, engineering, arts, and math to solve the problem of their stuck window and thirsty flowers.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books S. R3361f]

Seven, John.
The Ocean Story. 2011.
Relates the story of the oceans that are home to so many creatures, that are part of the water cycle which produces rain, and that can become very messy if we do not take care of them.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. Se824o]

Beginner and Intermediate Nonfiction

Bauer, Marion Dane.
Rain. 2004.
Illustrations and simple text explain what rain is, how it is used by plants, birds, and people, and the importance of clean water.
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.577 B326r]

Branley, Franklyn Mansfield.
Down Comes the Rain. 1997.
Explains how the water cycle leads to different types of weather patterns.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.551.577 B734d]

Bundey, Nikki.
Rain and the Earth. 2000.
Examines the role that rain plays on earth, how the cycle of evaporation and condensation works, and the effects of water on all forms of life. Includes related experiments.
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.577 B882r2001]

Hammersmith, Craig.
The Water Cycle. 2012.
Simple text and full-color photos explain the science behind the water cycle.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.551.48 H183w]

Harman, Rebecca.
The Water Cycle. 2005.
Follow a drop of water as it moves around the world! From the largest glaciers, to the steam coming out of a kettle, find out how water can change, and how it can alter landscapes.
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.48 H227w]

Hirschmann, Kris.
It’s Wet Out! 2008.
This book introduces how different types of precipitation form and the dangers and benefits they provide. Clear, helpful diagrams, full-color photographs, bold glossary words, and an index support this easy-to-read, engaging text.
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.577 H617i]

Kalman, Bobbie.
The Water Cycle. 2006.
Discusses how water forms, how to keep it clean, and its importance to humans and the ecology.
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.48 K126w]

Kaner, Etta.
Who Likes the Rain? 2007.
Rain — it makes puddles for jumping in, helps birds to clean their feathers and brings out snails and worms. But what is rain? And how does it transform the world around us?
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.57 K131w]

Korb, Rena B.
The Wild Water Cycle. 2008.
The water cycle’s processes of precipitation, evaporation, and water vapor are explained with simple text and matching illustrations. A science activity, fun facts section, glossary, and index aid students in learning about the wild water cycle happening around them.
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.48 K841w]

Lyon, George Ella.
All the Water in the World. 2011.
Introduces young children to the water cycle with simple text and illustrations.
[SSHEL S Collection and the Center for Children’s Books S.551.48 L9942a]

McKinney, Barbara Shaw.
A Drop Around the World. 1998.
Presents the water cycle through the journey of a raindrop around the world, in sky, on land, underground, and in the sea, in its liquid, solid, and vapor forms, as it supports life everywhere.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.551.48 M215d]

Morrison, Gordon.
A Drop of Water. 2006.
Author and illustrator Gordon Morrison has captured a single moment in time, revealing the course and influence of water, and inviting readers to pause and consider the world around them in this beautiful and lyrical appreciation of nature and the resource that makes it all possible: a drop of water.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.551.48 M834d]

Walker, Sally M.
Water Up, Water Down: The Hydrologic Cycle. 1992.
Describes the hydrologic cycle and its importance to life on Earth.
[SSHEL S Collection S.551.48 W154W]

Wells, Robert E.
Did a Dinosaur Drink This Water? 2006.
In this work about the water cycle, readers discover that the molecules in their glass of water may have once been part of a dinosaur watering hole.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S.551.48 W462d]