Siblings Sarah and Charlie go to stay with their grandparents for six days; at first, it rains, allowing the two to explore the old house, but they’re itching to get outside and wander. Finally, the weather lets up, and they head out, with their grandfather, on a nature walk. Big T, their grandfather, promises to show them the biggest puddle in the world, and encourages Sarah to keep a puddle map; all the while, explaining the water cycle: the rain comes down and collects in the puddles; the water in the air become the clouds in the sky. The clouds are made up of water from ponds and rivers and the biggest puddle in the world, which, the kids discover, is the ocean!
This is a great way to lead in to a discussion and/or lesson about the water cycle. The story and illustrations are all about the joy of being a kid: they enjoy spending time with grandparents; jump in puddles; explore nature, and find ways to keep themselves occupied when stuck inside on rainy days. Big T gives them a simple, illustrative way to understand the water cycle and how puddles collect, form bigger puddles, and eventually, become part of the clouds, which bring the rain. He encourages learning, and invites the kids to use hands-on learning by exploring and mapping their day.
The real and digital watercolor artwork is soft, with earth tones and faded colors, allowing nature to calmly take its place as the focal point of the story. Grasses gently move in an imagined breeze; the ocean stretches across a spread as Big T watches his grandchildren and their dog play, boots left on the sand.
A nice bridge between fiction and nonfiction, and a good addition to science storytime.