Hydro’s Adventure Through the Water Cycle…….and other tales

This afternoon Adam and I finished Hydro’s Adventure Through the Water Cycle by Randi and Michael Goodrich (with illustrations by Michele Han). Another one from the armload of books I found at Powell’s last month, Adam thought this story was super-funny. With characters like Hydro, Grandpa Groundwater, Nibbler the Salmon and Doug Fir, I suppose it’s not hard to guess why. We kept giggling together when we said the name Nibbler. Yeah, it just sounds pretty funny. I felt a little frustrated halfway through, perhaps bogged down by Hydro’s journey through the water cycle, but Adam thought it was the cleverest rendition of the water cycle ever and after all he is the intended audience. I have to admit, Hydro is pretty cute.

And then there’s Down to the Sea: The Story of a Little Salmon and His Neighborhood, by Jay Nicholas.  In this story, a fisheries biologist and salmon smolt work together to see if they can distill the Oregon Plan (a commitment to restore healthy watersheds) down to something a fish could haul back out to sea (so the smolt can explain to the other salmon what people are doing to help repair all the damage humans have done to fish habitat). I’m trying really hard to think of something nice to say, like it’s a cute story that falls short in the execution department but I’ll just be honest and admit I thought this book was a dud. Well, I dunno…… it was sort of cute. But fisheries biologists just should not write children’s books. Adam did like the part in the end where a sea gull craps on the fisheries biologist’s computer printer.

Finally, Louis Braille: the boy who invented books for the blind (1971) by Margaret Davidson (illustrations by Janet Compere)- Adam and I read this about a month and a half ago….. we thoroughly enjoyed it. I read this same exact book when I was a boy: I’ll never forget how mortified I was about the unfortunate accident in Louis’ father’s workshop. Adam had the same reaction, he put his hand over his mouth like he was watching a horror movie. Let’s just say, I don’t think he’ll be touching any power tools in the basement for awhile. At any rate, I did find myself frequently stopping mid-story to explain different historical and cultural contexts for the era in which Braille lived, but Adam was very engaged with the story and we had some interesting conversations.  Grandma would listen in while she was sewing and when we’d finished reading our chapter(s) for the night, the three of us might chat about Louis.

Tyrannosaurus Fir Reading List

  1. Stickeen: John Muir and the Brave Little Dog, Donnell Rubay and Christopher Canyon
  2. Fly High, Fly Low, Don Freeman
  3. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Robert O’Brien
  4. Louis Braille: the boy who invented books for the blind, Margaret Davidson
  5. Hydro’s Adventure Through the Water Cycle, Randi and Michael Goodrich
  6. Small Pig, Arnold Lobel
  7. Down to the Sea: The Story of a Little Salmon and His Neighborhood, Jay Nicholas
  8. Christopher for President, Addie

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