is the ocean? or "Where does all the rain go?" a child might ask. This charming book has answers that explain the basic principles of nature to help young ones understand the cycle of rainfall and bodies of water.

Kersten Hamilton writes in a playful style that is appealing to children. Often there are rhyming words that give the text a poetic flow as the words trip off the tongue.

This is the ocean Always filled up From shore to shore Like a briny cupÉ Author of The Butterfly Book: A Kid's Guide to Attracting, Raising, and Keeping Butterflies, Hamilton is truly a lover of nature, as is Lorianne Siomades, author and illustrator of A Place to Bloom and My Box of Color. Siomades' illustrations for This Is the Ocean are bright, colorful and engaging with overlays and collages that are quite effective. You might find yourself trying to touch a dragonfly, catch a fish, pet a goat or look under a pebble, all while avoiding being splashed by droplets of water.

This story does not specify a region for the ocean, river or brook. That makes this book just right for kids on the East Coast, West Coast or somewhere in between. The principles of nature do not differ, the explanations remain the same, and most importantly, the message to children is truthful and encourages love and respect for nature.

Children really enjoy hearing and reading nonfiction material. They often refer to those books as "real books about real things." This beautiful book flows into that realm of thinking just perfectly.

Ethel-Lonniell M. Williams is the librarian at Head Magnet Middle School in Nashville, Tennessee. She enjoys being read to and promotes reading to children of all ages.

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