The Water Cycle (Author Interview)

What inspired you to write “The Water Cycle” and why did you choose to target the age group 5-9?

I found I was often explaining the concepts of the water cycle to my daughter, but I wanted to create a way to explain how the different parts work together and some of the more abstract concepts kids can’t really see, like evaporation.

During the pandemic while I was helping my daughter with some online school assignments I got the idea and started planning it out with a sharpie and paper right there.

My educational and professional background is in water resources management, so it was just natural that these topics came up with my kids a lot on walks on days after it rained. They often asked questions about where water went after it drained into the catch basins.

The target age worked out to 5-9 as this was around the time these topics are covered in school and when the book would be of the most interest to kids. I thought the first half of the book covering the 3 main concepts would be appropriate for the youngest readers, and the second half covering more advanced concepts would be great for older kids.


What role do you think engaging narratives and vivid analogies play in helping children understanding complex scientific concepts like the water cycle?

I think they are incredibly important in helping captivate their attention and helping them to retain information. I looked at many of the books written for kids on this topic and decided to take a different approach by trying to blur the line between your typical STEM book and picture book by creating bright, playful and textured illustrations. I also used an anthropomorphized water drop to carry the narrative as I noticed the way kids respond to characters.


Could you elaborate on the interactive experiments included in the book and how they enhanced the learning experience for children

The interactive elements in the book were meant to help kids understand the more invisible concepts they can’t see such as evaporation and condensation. I wanted to make these concepts more real and less abstract in the hopes they would retain this information better.


In what ways do you think “The Water Cycle” can contribute to fostering a love for science and environmental awareness  among children?

I think kids enjoy being able to name and identify things they see in the real world, and I believe this book will help with this. One of the parts I thought they’d really enjoy was seeing how the underground storm sewers connect with what they see above ground.


What was the most challenging aspect of writing a science book for children, and how did you overcome it?

Writing the text came very naturally as I had been explaining it to my kids over the years. The most challenging aspect was illustrating the book. I took over two years between writing the book and finishing the illustrations as the project sat on the back burner for many months. Finally this year, after a break between projects I decided to try and complete a little bit each day. I read somewhere that we overestimate what we can get done in a day, and underestimate what we can get done with consistent effort overtime. So I put in the consistent effort and found within a few months I had a real book shaping up. So I finally set a deadline to release it, and worked towards getting the layouts and fonts designed so I could finish it off.


How do you envision parents and teachers using “The Water Cycle” as a tool for both education and inspiration?

I hope that teachers and homeschoolers will be able to use it during the units that cover the water cycle in school and maybe try the experiments in the book. I’ve also created some worksheets and colouring pages for educators to supplement their lessons.


Do you have plans for more books in this genre, and if so, can you give us a sneak peek

I would love to complete more books in the genre! Possibly on photosynthesis or a book about the different structures we see everyday, that kids might not realize are used for water resources management.