10 Children’s Books That Celebrate World Water Day

Wednesday, March 22nd is World Water Day, an internationally recognized day started by the United Nations in 1992 to celebrate water and those who labor in water. To honor one of Earth’s most precious resources, we’ve gathered ten titles that will help readers discover the power of water and how it supports all kinds of life on Earth.


Water Rolls, Water Rises/El agua rueda, el agua sube by Pat Mora and illustrated by Meilo So: This title is a poetic ode to the beauty of the natural world as expressed by the movement and moods of water on Earth. See the Teacher’s Guide.

Cycle of Rice, Cycle of Life by Jan Reynolds: On the island of Bali in Southeast Asia, rice farmers follow the cycles of the water and the soil in order to plant rice. See the Teacher’s Guide.

Everglades Forever written by Trish Max and photographed by Cindy Karp: Explore the Everglades, the majestic wetlands located in Florida alongside a fifth grade class. See the Teacher’s Guide.

Giving Thanks written by Chief Jake Swamp and illustrated by Eric Printup: For as long as anyone can remember, Mohawk parents have taught their children to start each day by giving thanks to Mother Earth. The Thanksgiving Address has been adapted for children by Chief Jake Swamp. See the Teacher’s Guide.The Mangrove Tree

The Mangrove Tree written by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore, illustrated by Susan L. Roth: People in the small village of Hargigo in Eritrea were unable to grow enough food for themselves and their animals. With the help of Dr. Gordan Sato, a scientist, they plant mangrove trees and transform their impoverished village into a self-sufficient one. See the Teacher’s Guide.

I Know the River Loves Me/Yo sé que el río me ama by Maya Christina Gonzalez: A young girl named Maya goes to visit her friend, the river. In this gentle story, the river takes care of Maya and Maya takes care of the river. Create a lesson plan using I Know the River Loves Me in first and second grade.

Rainbow Stew by Cathryn Falwell: On a rainy day, three children go into their Grandpa’s garden to pick colorful vegetables for rainbow stew. See the Teacher’s Guide.

The Woman Who Outshone the Sun/La mujer que brillaba aún más que el sol written by Alejandro Martinez and illustrated by Fernando Olivera: In this Zapotec legend, Lucia Zenteno walks into a village in Central Mexico. Some of the villagers say that her long, dark hair blocks out the sun; others say that it outshines the sun. The frightened villagers banish Lucia and the river goes with her. Check out reading and craft tips created by the staff and partners of Reading to Kids, a grassroots organization dedicated to inspiring underserved children with a love of reading.

Vanishing Cultures: Amazon Basin  by Jan Reynolds: Explore the lives of the Yanomama people that live in the Amazon River Basin through the eyes of Tuwenowa and his family. See the Teacher’s Guide.

Vanishing Cultures: Frozen Land by Jan Reynolds: Explore the lives of the Inuit people through the eyes of Kenalogak, a young girl, who helps her father with building an igloo, and goes ice fishing with her brother at night. See the Teacher’s Guide.

You can purchase the full collection here

More Resources for World Water Day:
World Water Day
7 End-of-year Field Trips and Book Pairings That Your Students Will Love (But Won’t Break the Bank)
Reading for the Earth: Ultimate Earth Day Resource Roundup
Book and Activity Suggestions to Match Your Summer Adventure: National and State Parks!
Book and Activity Suggestions to Match Your Summer Adventure: Beaches!

What books did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.