Small children explore water cycles in four thematically related but independent minibooks.
The individual titles themselves don’t always tell the tale. In “Where Does Wee-Wee Come from, Mum?” and “Where Does Wee-Wee Go to, Mum?” a child’s rhymed queries to a succession of adults lead him back along the water line from home to clouds and ocean, then from his “pottie” through sewers to a purification plant and back around. In contrast, “What Can We Do with Our Poo, Mum?” and “Why Is There No More Water, Mum?” shift the setting to an African village, where one lad learns that his drinking water is “full of smelly dirt” thanks to seepage from local garbage dumps, and another follows his mother on her daily trek to a distant tap because there is no nearby well. Sprightly background music, plus every screen’s touch-activated sighs, chuckles or small movements add further life to the bright, elementally simple art. A reference to the Water Board and other language point to the stories’ European origins, but most of the information is applicable or understandable on this side of the Atlantic—and if it’s startling to hear dialogue in the latter pair of tales voiced by an adult with a Scottish accent, the optional audio, particularly the child’s parts, are read throughout with engaging vivacity.
Though at first glance these look like preschool fare, they are eye-openers for any young readers who think their drinking and waste water appear and vanish by magic. (iPad informational app. 5-8)