As the subtitle indicates, Hale contrasts five water forms with five landforms in her minimalist informational picture book.
On the verso of the first double-page spread, a child revels in a windy swirl of falling maple leaves against a butter-yellow background, while on the recto another lounges in a boat on a small, clear blue body of water. The word “lake” is printed in boldface type above that body of water, the color precisely matching that of the water. Turning the page, readers see the lake is actually a die cut: the lake-shaped hole from the previous page is now an island-shaped hole, filled in with the yellow background from the previous spread. The word “island” sits underneath, its color matching the sands of the landform it represents. Hale’s art is playful and appealing but never overwhelming or distracting as she uses the die cuts and precise color to establish unmistakable visual connections. A diversity of skin tones and implied genders are included in each spread, although there is no diversity of body shape nor visual hints at disability. Logically, the concepts depend on forms where land and water meet: lake and island, bay and cape, strait and isthmus, system of lakes and archipelago, gulf and peninsula. An end foldout provides a map, form definitions, and example locations across the globe.
The die cuts dividing water from land are vulnerable to little hands, but their value more than delivers. (Informational picture book. 4-8)