Day 16: "Water Can Be…" by Laura Purdie Salas

32-Books-IconEach day as we count down to the April 18 announcement of the Minnesota Book Awards, we highlight one of the thirty-two finalists. Today we feature 2015 Young People’s Literature finalist Laura Purdie Salas.


The Wonders of Water

Water Can Be… 
by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Violeta Dabija
Published by: Millbrook Press/Lerner Publishing Group
Category Sponsor: Books For Africa

With stunning, colorful illustrations, Water Can Be… is an exploration of the many purposes water can serve. Children are taken on a poetic journey through the various forms that water takes as they learn about the important role it plays in daily life. From flowing spring streams and majestic waterfalls, to intricate ice sculptures, this book beautifully introduces young children to the ubiquity of water. The end of the book features a section with additional information on the purposes that water serves, explaining the science behind phenomena such as fog, rainbows, and clouds in language that children will understand. Dabija’s breathtaking illustrations work wonderfully together with Salas’ simple, rhyming text to make Water Can Be… an ideal book for young children.

About the author:

Laura Purdie Salas has written more than 120 books for kids and teens, including Bookspeak! Poems about Books, which won the 2012 Minnesota Book Award for Children’s Literature.

Violeta Dabija is the illustrator of more than 25 books for children. Her work combines digital and traditional techniques. She lives in Chisnau, Moldova.

The reviews are in:

“With such kid-centric phrases as “picture catcher,” and “tadpole hatcher,” the text captures a child’s perspective while exploring water’s journey throughout the seasons. The dreamy illustrations are a perfect match.” – MN Book Awards judge

“Salas and Dabija follow 2012’s A Leaf Can Be… with an equally contemplative and thought-provoking ode to the forms water takes and the functions it serves, both practical and whimsical.” – Publisher’s Weekly

“The pictures in this book are full of warmth and character that will attract kids and their parents alike. Since there is very little text, the illustrations are free to take up full pages, and they do a lovely job of illustrating the figurative meaning suggested by Salas’ words.” – Katie Fitzgerald, Story Time Secrets blog

Watch the book trailer:

Join us at the Awards Gala!

Get Tickets NowAward winners will be announced at the 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 18 at the historic St. Paul Union Depot. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 and are available by visiting

Have you read Water Can Be…? What are your thoughts? We welcome your comments!