Water Can Be . . .

From the Series Can Be . . . Books

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 2
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

Water is water, puddle, pond, sea. But now can you guess what else it can be?

Water can be a . . .thirst quencher, kid drencher, cloud fluffer, fire snuffer. Find out about the many roles water plays in this poetic exploration of water throughout the year.

Laura Purdie Salas’s lyrical, rhyming text and Violeta Dabija’s glowing illustrations make simple yet profound observations about seemingly ordinary objects and encourage readers to suggest “what else it can be!” Using metaphors for a leaf (tree topper / rain stopper), a rock (hopscotch marker / fire sparker), and water (thirst quencher / kid drencher), these insightful picture books creatively highlight a variety of roles and relationships in nature.

Format Your Price Add
Available at all major wholesalers and distributors. Save 25% off list price on hardcovers and ebooks when you buy direct! Digital purchases will be accessed on Lerner Digital Bookshelf. An account will be created for you after purchase.
Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 2
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books, Science
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Expository Literature
Copyright 2014
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Millbrook Press ™
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2014-04-01
Text Type Poetry
BISACS JNF051000, JNF037070, JNF037080
Dewey 553.7
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 9.75 x 9.75
Lexile 310
Guided Reading Level L
Features Awards, Original artwork, Reviewed, and Starred Reviews

Author: Laura Purdie Salas

Laura Purdie Salas is the author of more than 135 books for kids, including If You Were the Moon, Lion of the Sky, theCan Be… series, and Bookspeak! Poems about Books. Poetry and rhyming nonfiction books are her favorite things to write. Laura loves to do author visits, writing workshops, and teacher inservices. Read more about Laura and her work at laurasalas.com.

Illustrator: Violeta Dabija

Violeta Dabija lives in Moldova, a small Eastern European country. She has a strong traditional art background, a BA degree in Fine Arts/Graphic Design and 10 years of experience as a children's book illustrator. She works in both traditional and digital media and often mixes them to produce delicate and atmospheric illustrations with a traditional feel. She has illustrated about 25 children's books and she enjoys creating magic pictures and unique environments for her characters.


  • Charlotte Zolotow Award Highly Commended Title, Commended, 2015
  • Texas Library Association 2x2 Reading List, Winner, 2015
  • Minnesota Book Award Finalist, Short-listed, 2015
  • Building STEAM with Día Book List, Winner, 2015
  • Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) Choices, Winner, 2015
  • Black Eyed Susan Book Award Nominee, Nominated, 2014


Publishers Weekly

“[A] contemplative and thought-provoking ode to the forms water takes and the functions it serves, both practical and whimsical.” —starred, Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal

“The text is perfect for creating mental images and showing children what the words look like. The traditional and digital media used for the illustrations create a delicate tone for the book. Each page has an ethereal beauty that brings the text to life.” —School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“Dabija’s illustrations, created with a combination of traditional and digital techniques and filled with simple shapes and vivid, vibrant colors, are misty, scratchy, sometimes-impressionistic, always atmospheric—in a word, beautiful….Kids of all ages will gain a new appreciation for water, and Salas and Dabija will surely gain new fans.” —starred, Kirkus Reviews