Starred Review from Kirkus
This is the ocean, / blue and vast, / that holds the rainwater from the past." And this is the irresistible refrain of a stunning picture book on the water cycle, written as an innovation on the "This Is the House that Jack Built" pattern of cumulative text, which Schaefer used similarly in This Is the Sunflower (2000). Her rhyming storyline builds with a rhythm as steady as rain on a rooftop, following the cycle of water transformations and adding another element to the text with each refrain. Wattenberg's (Henny-Penny, 2000, etc.) glowing photographic collage illustrations feature an azure sea and a radiant golden-yellow sky with photos of real storm clouds or a black night sky with starfish stars. Her version of the vast, ancient ocean teems with fish, shells, treasure chests, and muted images of dinosaurs of ages past. Schaefer and Wattenberg have created the essential water-cycle title for younger children, imparting solid scientific information (we'll forgive the underwater dinosaurs) with memorable text and stunning art. Librarians will want this for story hours with water or rain themes; teachers will want it for water-cycle studies; and kids will want it for its clever rhymes, striking art, and mysterious sunken dinosaurs. As essential to library collections as rain is to summer sunflowers.From Publishers Weekly
" Wattenberg's full-bleed photo collages, used so effectively in her Henny Penny, here depict stunning natural images: a single sunflower stands sentry-like in a vast, gold-splashed meadow; a school of emerald fish seem to be airborne at the base of a waterfall; a gray cloud oozes over a seashore. And there's a soupcon of sly jokes as well Wattenberg has a fondness for sneaking dinosaurs into her ocean scenes, and the final montage sports umbrella-toting birds and seahorses. Her layer upon layer of photo images creates a giddy visual landscape that is simultaneously ironic and iconic. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.From Booklist ...
The surreal montages of crisp photographs demonstrate the concepts effectively, occasionally using visual jokes. (Some birds, a sea horse, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex carry tiny umbrellas; the night sky is filled with golden starfish.) Even details such as the colors of the words in the text are artfully arranged. A subtle, well-crafted introduction for young children to a complex subject. Todd Morning Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved