Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 31, 2021

Book Giveaway: WATER: A DEEP DIVE OF DISCOVERY by Christy Mihaly

Christy Mihaly has written a new non-fiction middle grade book, WATER: A Deep Dive of Discovery, illustrated by Mariona Cabassa published by Barefoot Books. Christy has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner living in the United States.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book, so thank you for helping Lauren.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


Barefoot Books WATER: A DEEP DIVE OF DISCOVERY introduces young readers to one of the most important topics on Earth: our water. Illustrated by the talented Mariona Cabassa, it’s a colorful, kid-friendly exploration. A droll water droplet character guides children through topics ranging from melting and freezing to the ways in which water literally shapes the Earth. 

“Immerse yourself in fascinating facts about water! This comprehensive yet accessible exploration of water will help young readers understand many aspects of one of our planet’s most precious resources – and how they can protect it. A friendly water droplet character guides children through topics ranging from melting and freezing to the ways in which water literally shapes the Earth. Tales by storytellers from around the world are sprinkled through the book, highlighting the variety of ways in which global cultures value water. The engaging format includes gatefolds and booklets with hands-on activity ideas for learning about and protecting water. Topics covered include: The importance of water to life; How much of the planet is made of water; Where in the world water is located; Freezing, melting and evaporation; The water cycle; Why animals and plants need water; Salt water versus fresh water environments; Uses for water, including water as a source of renewable energy; Water conservation and how to keep water clean”–

The talented team at Barefoot Books has created this gorgeous, oversized (64-page) book with a fun format that includes maps, science sidebars for deeper analysis, gatefolds and booklets with hands-on activities. There is also action items, ways that kids can help protect Earth’s water. In addition to the nonfiction text, the book includes a series of water-centered tales by storytellers from around the world.

Kirkus Reviews gave WATER a star, and listed it as one of its “150 most anticipated fall books.” The review called WATER “oceanic in scope–but clear and refreshing,” saying, “Mihaly has a way with words; her explanations are clear and her language well chosen, with pleasing alliteration. … She addresses readers directly, with respect for their capacity.” So, I’m hoping kids will like it too!


In March 2020, amazing Barefoot Books editor Emma Parkin contacted me with an idea the company was developing. They were looking for someone to write a nonfiction book about water—the history, science, and future of water. They were also going to find a diverse group of storytellers to contribute traditional water-oriented stories from around the world. They were planning something along the lines of the wonderful Barefoot Books Solar System.

Emma noted that while other picture books focus on the ocean, water animals, or other water-related topics, there wasn’t a book that surveyed water as a global presence. Emma and I chatted by video and we hit it off. I loved the Barefoot Books vision for WATER. We talked about underpinning the nonfiction content with the theme of social justice, highlighting how people can protect this essential resource. I immediately knew I wanted to do this!

I had been planning to spend that spring and summer focused on book events for my 2020 picture book, FREE FOR YOU AND ME: What Our First Amendment Means (illustrated by Manu Montoya, published by Albert Whitman). But, as you may recall, a certain virus had other plans for us. Just as that book was released, every single scheduled event, conference, and reading was canceled, canceled, canceled. So … I happened to have a big hole in my calendar. It worked out well. I dove into WATER. 

Creating WATER was a collaborative process, with lots of back-and-forth and refinements along the way. Emma and I worked together with the design team, other editors, and expert reviewers for about a year. I wanted to share the wonder and magic of water while giving kids accurate science. We gave a lot of thought to the book’s structure and design. We discussed what content to include and what had to be left out. In fact, that’s one reason for the flaps — the fold-outs helped us squeeze in some topics we couldn’t bear to leave out!

We also paid a lot of attention to how we could convey Earth’s environmental challenges without being entirely negative. I wanted to explain how water is central to understanding and addressing today’s global crises, from climate change to world hunger. And what we can do about it! I’m thrilled with how it all came out and look forward to sharing the book with kids.


Author Christy Mihaly is a nature lover, poet, and former lawyer. She writes for kids because she believes that our best hope for the future is raising young people who love to read and giving them the knowledge and skills to lead. Christy has written more than 25 children’s nonfiction titles on topics from free speech to food. Christy has written extensively about civics and our government.

She also co-wrote with Sue Heavenrich Diet for a Changing Climate: Food for Thoughtwhich explores how our food affects the environment. Her picture books include Free for You and Me: What Our First Amendment Means and Hey, Hey, Hay! (A Tale of Bales and the Machines That Make Them), and coming in 2022, the informational fiction The Supreme Court and Us (Albert Whitman)and Patience, Patches (Dial/PRH)a tale of a dog and a new baby.

Christy’s books have been included on the Green Earth Book Award shortlist, Bank Street Children’s Best Books, and Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selections. She also has poems in several anthologies and magazines. She is represented by Erzsi Deak of Hen&ink Literary Studio. She lives in Vermont, where she enjoys walking her dog in the woods and playing cello (though not simultaneously).


IG: @christymihaly

Twitter: @CMwriter4kids



Mariona Cabassa is a Catalunyan native artist who has illustrated over 80 children’s books. She studied at art school in Barcelona, followed by further research in Strasbourg. Her many subsequent years of working as an illustrator, painter, installation maker and tattoo artist reflect her fascination with form and her desire to explore different palettes. Mariona’s technique combines water-based paints, pencils and a digital touch to create rich and detailed illustrations, bursting with color and movement.

Below are some of the titles she recently illustrated, Barefoot Books Water: A Deep Dive of Discovery by Christy Mihaly (Barefoot Books), The Invisible Circle by Soledad Romero Mariño (ZAHORI), Al Otro Lado by Cristina Falcón Maldonado (Akiara Books), O Camiño by Marisa Núñez (Cartoné), A Gift for Amma: Market Day in India by Meera Sriram (Barefoot Books), Els 100 refranys catalans més animals (Cossetània Edicions), Adivina, adivina series (Anaya Infantil Y Juvenil), Flores: meditaciones guiadas by Jorge Zentner (Ediciones B), O dia de Ir e Vir by Alain Allard (Fragmenta), Ándate con ojo by Ángels Navarro (Imaginarium), Cómetelo todo by Mar Benegas(Takatuka), Los caminos de los árboles by Pep Bruno (La Fragatina), Sylvia & Simon by Juan Muñoz-Tébar (Cognitio), Babakunde by Annelise Heurtier (Casterman), Non ai berce coma o colo Traditional Lullabies (Kalandraka).

Christy, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. Teachers will definitely want to use this book in their classrooms and I am sure children will be fascinated to learn all the interesting things about water. Mariona’s fabulous illustrations will keep them turning the pages. Good luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This book looks wonderful! I know a certain grand who will love reading all the sidebars and figuring out the water cycle and learning about water. His inquisitive mind will absorb it! Congratulations!

    I follow by email and I tweeted this post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Angie! I’m thrilled how Barefoot Books managed to incorporate all those flaps into this book. Hope your grand loves the book.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats, Christy & Mariona! (I’m subscribed to the emails, too.)


    • Thank you, Susan!


  3. These sample pages look so appealing–love the raindrop POV. Congrats, Christy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Buffy — inventing the water droplet was one of my favorite parts of the process.


  4. This looks excellent. I love seeing more non-fiction for kids, they love to learn. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    I’ve tweeted:, and shared:
    I also follow daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks again, have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This book is gorgeous! As someone who enjoys writing nonfiction books for kids on the topics of nature and science, this book appeals to me for mentor text also. I’m an email subscriber and shared on social:

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, this book looks amazing! I will definitely be checking it out. Thanks for telling me about it. I follow your blog by email.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Christy. Congratulations on all the accolades. I can’t wait to order this for my niblings!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a beautiful book! I’m looking forward to seeing it in person and holding a copy in my hands. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Water is such an important topic that we all take for granted, but the author does not–she has filled the book with not only scientific facts about water (written so that children understand the topic), but she has also made it interesting for children to read or have it read to them (I did have the luxury of seeing the manuscript in progress). The illustrations are stunning and say ‘come on in and learn about water.’ It’s such a beautiful book.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your new book looks great. I love the topics you write about. Children need books like yours to learn about the world we live in. And the illustrations are beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello! Just tweeted about this lovely new book here:
    Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m actually digging into water this fall with my middle grades students!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book. So lovely. So informative. Such a gift to the world and so needed at this moment. Congratulations Christy and Mariona.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This book looks absolutely gorgeous!!! And so very important!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This book is lovely and written so children of all ages can understand. Brava Christy and Mariona!


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