Water Rolls, Water Rises/El Agua Rueda, el agua sabe by Pat Mora


  • White Ravens list, International Youth Library, 2015
  • John Burroughs Riverby Award, 2015
  • Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor book, 2015
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center), 2015
  • 2014 New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, 2014.
  • Book Links Lasting Connections, 2014
  • ALA Notable Children’s Books, 2015
  • Tejas Star Reading List, 2015-2016
  • Delaware Diamonds K-2 Title, 2015-2016

Teachers & Librarians
Download curriculum activities for
Water Rolls, Water Rises/
El Agua Rueda, el agua sabe.

If you have an activity or activities to share, please email these along with your name and school or library name.

Download a teacher’s guide from the publisher, Lee & Low Books.

Download a teacher’s guide that aligns with TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) standards and curriculum for first and second grades, written by Kendall Miller, the Logistics and Outreach Coordinator for the Texas Book Festival. Kendall also runs the TBF literacy outreach program Reading Rock Stars.

See a thematic book list on Water and the Water Cycle

Water’s Forms

Pat's visit to Japan, 2005. Roiling River.

Pat’s visit to Japan, 2005. Roiling River.

Winter in Santa Fe, NM

Winter in Santa Fe, NM.

5th anniversary 2019

Water Rolls, Water Rises/El agua rueda, el agua sube
Children’s Book Press, illustrated by Meilo So
Download a hi-res jpeg of the book jacket.

Here is a poetic ode to the beauty of the natural world as expressed by the movement and moods of water on Earth. With every evocative verse, we visit one of fourteen different water landscapes and cultural areas around the world, each stunningly illustrated with a breathtaking view of a place of natural beauty and conveying a sense of the drama, joy, power, serenity, grandeur, or peacefulness of water. From the Grand Canal of Venice to Qutang Gorge in China, from the Sahara in Morocco to the Andes of Chile, we learn about the world through the lens of water, our most precious, life-giving resource.

Meilo So’s illustrations from the book have been chosen for Original Art, the Society of Illustrators’ annual juried exhibition celebrating the fine art of children’s book illustration. See more.

See some interior pictures from the book on the Christian Science Monitor’s Children’s Book Gallery.

Highlighted Reviews
Green star icon"Evocative watercolor images and graceful short poems in Spanish and English celebrate water in all its forms and around the world…A lovely bilingual addition to the ‘sense of wonder’ shelf."
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
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"In this bilingual book, Mora uses her travels around the world to talk about water in unique ways, while creating varied and compelling imagery…Younger readers will enjoy the calmness of the words, while older readers will want to imitate the author’s style and try their own hand at descriptive writing."—School Library Journal
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"Fourteen three-line verses, in English and Spanish, celebrate water in its many forms, from frost and fog to waves and waterfalls. Each verse is accompanied by a majestic double-page-spread painting from a specific place in the world…the poems speak to the wonders of water everywhere…Mora skillfully uses alliteration and assonance in the English versions of the poems…"—Horn Book
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"This handsome, bilingual picture book transports children around the world to view water in many forms. Both the images and the evocative, poetic text and verse support the book’s unifying theme of water as a shared resource that takes many forms. A beautiful addition to classroom units on water and a useful gateway to global awareness."—Booklist
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"In a bilingual tribute to water with a truly global scope, Mora’s verse and So’s spare mixed-media illustrations swing from placid to tempestuous, creating an effective and fitting ebb and flow. An expressive celebration of the world’s waterscapes."—Publishers Weekly
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"Mora’s cadences (in English anyway) succeed magnificently in evoking the beauty and majesty of water in its myriad forms. Read the book enough times and you begin to get a real sense of the rise and fall of water’s actions."—Elizabeth Bird, Fuse #8
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"Mora’s spare poetry uses effective rhythms and alliteration (“Skidding and slipping, / swooping round bends, / spinning on tree roots, careening down cliffs”) to bring water to life for child readers with an infectious energy."—Julie Danielson, Kirkus blog
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"Water not only rolls and rises, it slithers, snakes, streams, slides, hums, plunges, skids, slips and much, much more in this language-rich offering."—Cooperative Children’s Book Center
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"The book blends English and Spanish lyrical imagery with vivid eye-catching illustrations to tell the story of water’s varied forms and locations as it travels the world…would make a nice addition to any home or classroom library. It ties in nicely with language arts, writing, science, or for pure reading enjoyment."—Cindy Slayton, Teaching the Hudson Valley
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"Emphasis here is on awe — seasons and places shaped by water…Such accessible poems easily serve as an invite for kids to play with words themselves and appreciate life-giving water all at once."—Susan Faust, SF Gate
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"An exceptional read-aloud."—Rebecca G. Aguilar
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"A wonderful resource for teaching geography at any level and in either language."—Spanish Playground
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"In this collection of bilingual poetry, [Mora] focuses on the beauty of the natural world through the movement and mood of water…So’s watercolor illustrations match the tone of the writing perfectly."—Mazza Museum
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"Mora celebrates the power and life-giving necessity of water. Each two-page spread addresses a different quality of water through just one poetic sentence. Mora’s writing is beautiful and evocative. So’s mixed media illustrations are stunning. With the large format of a double page spread with which to work, she creates dramatic landscapes and points of view. A beautiful addition to any collection."—Kutztown University Book Review

"This is a lovely and inventive trip around the world which shows us that just as water differs so do the people and places that reap its benefits."—Sal’s Fiction Addiction
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"Ready for an around-the-world, invigorating, aquatic tour? Readers: get ready to be refreshed, guided by Pat Mora’s verses and Meilo So’s artistry…"—Smithsonian BookDragon
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