PICTURE BOOKS (Primary-P/ intermediate-I)

The Cloud Book  by Tomie de Paola. NY: Holiday House, 1975.

Varied types of clouds, early beliefs about clouds and fog, weather related sayings for farmers, travelers, sailors and expressions such as “in a fog”, “head in the clouds” etc., by a well-known writer and illustrator.  P

Follow the Water From Brook to Ocean  by Arthur Dorris. NY: Harper Collins, 1991.

Part of the Let’s Read and Find Out Science Book series. The journey of water from its source in the mountains to the sea.  P


Water Boy  by David McPhail. NY: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2007.

A young boy’s adventures with water, going from initial fear to understanding, fascination, experimentation and connection.  Fiction. P


Walkabout Seashore  by Henry Pluckrose. Chicago: Children’s Press, 1994.

All that can be seen of flora and fauna in a walk along the shore, illustrated with close-up photography.  P


Water Dance  by Thomas Locker. San Diego & NY: Harcourt Brace, 1997.

Water speaks of its varied incarnations as rain, mountain stream, waterfall, lake, river, sea, mist, clouds, storm front, storm and rainbow. Explanations of each follow.  P/I


My Great Grandmother’s Gourd   by Cristina  Lyon: illustrated by Walter Krudop. NY: Orchard Books, 2000.

A wonderful tale, based on a true story set in a Sudanese village. Technology has made possible a new water pump for the village. But Fatima’s grandmother refuses to accept the change, and prepares the baobab tree to store water for the dry season as her ancestors had done. Though mocked by the village, she is vindicated when the pump breaks down from overuse. Includes a short list of words in Arabic.  Fiction P/I   (See also Trishna and the Dream of Water under MDG Resources)


Water Water Everywhere   by Mark J. Rauzon and Cynthia Overbeck Bix. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books for Children, 1994.

Water in all its forms, liquid, solid and vapor, illustrated by close up photography; also addresses issues of waste and pollution. P/I


The Rainbow and You  by E.L. Krupp; illustrated by Robin Rector Krupp. Printed in Singapore by Tien Wah Press, 2000. Available in the US in libraries or at

The science of rainbows, mythological beliefs of Greeks, Vikings, Navajos, Siberians, and Australians, rainbows in the Bible, Isaac Newton’s discovery of rainbows and ‘did you know?’ facts (rules) about rainbows, even how to make your own. I


The Drop in my Drink: The Story of Water on Our Planet  by  Meredith Hooper; illustrated by Chris Coady. NY: Viking Penguin, 1998.

Water in nature, from ancient swamps and bogs, to rainforests, ice floes and beneath the sea;

includes a list of  ‘Amazing Water Facts’ and an explanation of the water cycle.  I




Water World Children’s Voices  United Nations Environment Programme, 2003.

A large, beautiful book including drawings, poems, essays, activities, questions and facts in the words of children and teens around the world; topics include the role of water in everyday life, learning about water, challenges related to water, and taking care of water; there is also a glossary. Can be used through middle school.


Tunza: The UNEP Magazine for Youth Vol.1 No.1   This issue is entirely devoted to water. Colorfully presented topics include action projects around the world, a chart of the world’s largest rivers, sacred waters, the water cycle, how much is really needed, how freshwater is divided among world populations, stories of how water changed people’s lives and water wonders of the world.


A Trip with Drip the Water Drop: A learning by doing workbook on water for children

United Nations Environment Programme, 2005.

Another colorful self-teaching tool that includes quizzes, puzzles, stories and activities. Students learn the word for water in many languages, calculate their own family’s daily use of water, and the amount of freshwater compared to salt on earth, how to measure rainfall, the army of water pollutants and where they come from and so much more. It comes with an interactive CD.




Our Planet: The Magazine of the United Nations Environment Programme Vol. 14 No.1

This issue is devoted to articles on Freshwater. Topics include a change in philosophy that has brought new strategies for flood control and disaster mitigation in China, waterless cities –the crisis in urban water and sanitation, cutting freshwater pollution to preserve wetlands and restore marine ecosystems and more.


Our Planet: The Magazine of the United Nations Environment Programme Vol. 14 No. 4

This issue is devoted to articles on water, sanitation and people. Articles describe practical steps for halving the proportion of the world’s people lacking safe drinking water and sanitation.


Crops and Drops: Making the Best Use of Water for Agriculture (Report)     Land and Water Development Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations  e-mail:

Contents include agriculture’s use of water, production and food security, overuse and misuse, floods and droughts, people and water, improving rainfed and irrigated production, and improving policies toward a better future.


Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource  by Marq de Villiers, Mariner Books, 2001.

An eye-opening account of how global population growth, unchecked development, and cross-border struggles are stressing and depleting the world’s fresh water supply.


Plain Talk About Drinking Water  by Dr. James M. Symons. NY: American Water Works Assn., 1997

Straightforward answers to more than 160 of the most commonly asked questions about drinking water.



Every Body Counts, Every Drop Matters: United Nations Classroom Resource Guide on Water   by Donna L. Goodman NY: United Nations Dept. of Public Information, 2003 and put the title in the search bar

A very thorough compilation of activities on all aspects of water education. Some topics include harvesting rainwater, acid rain, water and light, wells and pumps, water and peace, saltwater resources, gender equity and water, water and culture etc.


Water Quiz

How much do you already know? Basic water facts with a quiz to assess what you learn, in the areas of water and conflict, resource management, water-bourne diseases and irrigation,


Water: The Resource that Gets Used and Used and Used for Everything, How Do We Treat Our Waste Water? Ground Water: The Hidden Resource, and Wetlands: Water, Wildlife, Plants and People! (posters)

A cooperative program of the US Geological Survey-Books and Open File Reports Section (303-236-7476), US Fish and Wildlife Service, the US Bureau of Land Mgmt. of the US Dept. of the Interior, the American Water Resources Assn. and the National Science Teachers Assn. (202-326-5800) has produced a series of  colorful posters with learning materials and activities on the back. Copies are also available in Spanish.


Every Drop Counts  Seattle: Facing the Future: People and the Planet, 2006  206-264-1503

A series of water-related lesson plans compiled by Facing the Future, which provides professional development workshops for classroom teachers, pre-service teachers and community educators through hands-on interactive workshops and in-service courses. They tailor workshops both in terms of time and classroom, school or district needs. Standard workshops are typically 2-8 hours long. One workshop is entitled “Building Bridges Over Troubled Water: Cross-curricular resources and action for teaching about water”


Vital Water Graphics: An Overview of the World’s Fresh and Marine Waters.  United Nations Environment Programme, 2002.

An illustrated book, DVD and overhead transparencies; best for use with high school, college and beyond.




Nane Annan slide show on fresh water.

Introductory slide show on water issues for elementary students, created by the wife of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan


Voices of Youth: Water Alert!   by Donna L. Goodman, UNICEF

DVD Role play/character development game with interdisciplinary use; can be played on a computer in rural locations via internet access where available


Mainstreaming Gender in Water Management: A Practical Journey to Sustainability –a resource guide. DVD

United Nations Development Programme

Consolidates available materials, and existing information. The website contains a bibliography and useful links for further study. Updated periodically. Adult.



Vestergaard –Frandsen is a Swiss company, winner of the 2005 Index International Design Award for the creation of Lifestraw, an inexpensive personal water purification tool. An enlarged drinking straw fitted with seven types of filters, including mesh, active carbon and iodine makes 185 gallons of water clean enough to drink. It can prevent waterbourne diseases like typhoid and diarrhea to which victims of earthquakes, hurricanes and other disasters are particularly susceptible.   This became a 2004 CTAUN Best Practices Award-winning 5th grade classroom project when teacher Eileen Venezia used Lifestraw with her class.  (For project description see 2006 Best Practices winner).


Pumped Up for Peace   Faye Feller, Director

An opportunity to get involved in a real life social action project that focuses on water contamination in a remote village in the Amazon rain forest. The project involves building play pumps –while children play on these rotating carousels, they emit fresh water. The first pump was built in Peru, but projects are underway and being planned in many other needy locations. Cyberschoolbus also has links to other sites.