Recommended children's booklists sorted by age or topic

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Topic: Rivers, Coasts & the Water Cycle

Chapter bookDyslexia-friendly

Times are tough for Cari and her mum. A violent storm has flooded the valley where they live, destroying their home and café business.

Things seem bleak – but hope appears in the form of a plan to reintroduce beavers into the area, as the changes that these amazing animals make to the waterways might prevent another flood.

Cari knows that she has to get involved. But with the project facing resistance from locals, can she convince them to give the beavers a chance – and will it be enough to save her home from being destroyed for a second time?

Best children’s books about rivers, coasts and water cycles

This geography curriculum booklist is designed to help those looking for children’s books about rivers, coasts and the water cycle.

The topics of rivers, coasts and water are components of the National Curriculum in primary schools, covering aspects of both Science and Geography. From erosion and tributaries to precipitation and the water cycle, we’ve got the topic well covered with our selection of the best children’s books about rivers, coasts and water.

Recommended chapter book fiction options include Elizabeth Laird’s Song of the Dolphin Boy, a topical and thought-provoking novel about coastal pollution,  and Gill Lewis’s short chapter book Song of the River, about wildlife and river conservation. There is an array of beautiful picture books to support this topic, including Grahame Baker-Smith’s The Rhythm of the Rain, which explores the remarkable journey of the water cycle.

So, dive into the watery world of rivers and coasts with our expertly selected booklist…

Picturebook

This educational picture book is about a little girl with a big story to tell – Why Water’s Worth It. With her nose buried in her book, she walks young readers through the world of clean water, how it’s managed, and the importance of everyone working together to protect it. Written for 4- to 8 -year-olds but with appeal to readers of all ages, this book uses fun, engaging illustrations and rhyming text to present a simple explanation of a complex process while encouraging personal responsibility and thoughtful, “green” choices. To help small hands become big heroes, the book includes a list of small ways to make a big difference and cool facts to explain why water’s worth it! Give it as a special gift; add it to your home library; make a donation to a school or public library; or use it as a public education tool for facility tours, classroom presentations, and in support of water awareness days and activities such as World Water Day, Earth Day, and World Toilet Day. You Need Water. Water Needs You. From parents, to teachers, to water professionals around the world, this story will help you empower the next generation of water protectors.

Non-fiction

Dive into the life-cycle of water and discover how it supports all life forms, how humans harness its power, and why we need to conserve it. From snowflakes falling from the clouds and deep ocean currents to hot springs and water in space, this children’s nature book showcases the beauty and power of water in the natural world.

Chapter book

Grandpa is dying. He can barely move his hands anymore, but stubborn as ever, refuses to stay in hospital. He’s determined to finish his last painting, ‘River Boy’, before he goes. A poignant story that explores the subject of grief and loss in an accessible and affecting way, Tim Bowler’s Carnegie Medal-winning book will take your breath away and is now available in this updated edition with cover artwork by Tom Clohosy Cole.

Picturebook

“Come with me. Come with me. I will take you to the sea,” sings the stream to Cam, the mountain boy. And so Cam’s adventure begins, an adventure in which he will see many strange and wondrous sights, and make a marvellous discovery.

In this resonant story, Cam the mountain boy follows the river from its trickling source in the snow all the way to the sea. The river leads him through forest, farms and towns to the salty wind of the sea. The dramatic landscapes are packed with detail to discover in the world of the river. A poetic and beautifully illustrated picture book exploring the different forms that water can take.

Picturebook

There is a river outside my window. Where will it take me? So begins an imaginary journey from the city to the sea. From factories to farmlands, freeways to forest, each new landscape is explored through stunning illustrations and poetic text from this award-winning picture-book creator.

Picturebook

WINNER OF THE 2018 WATERSTONES CHILDREN’S BOOK PRIZE FOR BEST ILLUSTRATED BOOK

This surreal modern folk-tale tells the story of an adventurous young girl who must protect a peaceful living creature.

Erin loves to lie on the jetty, looking for the weirdest fish in the sea — the weirder, the better! And she knows the best ones must be further out, where her mum won’t let her go …Out there in the deepest sea lies the Black Rock: a huge, dark and spiky mass that is said to destroy any boats that come near it! Can Erin uncover the truth behind this mysterious legend?

Picturebook

Issac plays in his favourite pool on the mountainside. As rain starts to fall, he empties his little jar of water into the pool and races the sparkling streams as they tumble over waterfalls, rush through swollen rivers and burst out into the vast open sea.

Where will my little jar of water go now? Issac wonders.

On the other side of the world, Cassi welcomes the rain to her parched village . . .

From tiniest raindrop to deepest ocean, this breathtaking celebration of the water cycle captures the remarkable movement of water across the earth in all its majesty. A stunning new non-fiction picture book from Greenaway medal-winner, Grahame Baker-Smith.

Non-fiction

Fearless adventurers, set sail on a fascinating voyage down the world’s most extraordinary rivers!

Discover over 100 of the world’s most incredible rivers in this fascinating title by Julie Vosburgh Agnone and illustrated by prize-winner Kerry Hyndman. Amazing Rivers takes readers on a tour of the world’s waterways, revealing the animals that call them home, the societies that rely on them, and the environmental issues threatening them along the way.

Learn about incredible wildlife, from brown bears catching salmon that swim upstream to anacondas large enough to eat a pig. Explore astounding natural wonders, from a boiling river so hot you can cook an egg in it to a multicoloured river that flows like a liquid rainbow. And discover awesome river traditions, from ritual baths to rubber duck racing to barefoot waterskiing!

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