Great Books and Web Sites for Children About Water and the New York City Water Supply System
Books for Kids
Aardema, Verna. Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain. New York: Puffin Books, 1981.
The story of how Ki-pat brings rain to the dry Kapiti Plain. This cumulative rhyming tale stresses the importance of rain to plant life, animal life, and human life. Ages 4-8
Asch, Frank. Water. New York: Harcourt, 1995.
Deep in the earth and high in the sky, water is all around us. Young readers are encouraged to appreciate anew one of our most precious resources. Ages 3-6
Branley, Franklyn M. Down Comes the Rain. Illustrated by James Graham Hale. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1997.
After it rains, the sun dries the puddles, but the water isn’t gone. Read on to find out the ups and downpours of the water cycle. Ages 6-8
Cherry, Lynne. A River Ran Wild. New York: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1992.
An environmental history of the Nashua River in Massachusetts, from its discovery by Native Americans through polluting years of the Industrial Revolution to the ambitious clean-up that revitalized it. Ages 9-12
Cobb, Vicki. Get Wet. New York: Harper Collins, 2002.
Science principles are made easy to understand. Simply follow this book with a child who loves to play, just add water and-presto! - You have a science discovery that will forever change the way children look at the world. Ages 4-8
Cole, Joanna. The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks: Special New York City Edition.
Illustrated by Bruce Degan. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1986.
A raindrop to faucet journey through the New York City water supply system. Ages 4-8
Cole, Joanna. The Magic School Bus: Wet All Over. Illustrated by Bruce Degan. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1996.
A trip through the water cycle. Ages 4-8
Craighead-George, Jean. My Side of the Mountain. New York: Puffin Books, 1988.
A young boy runs away to the Catskill Mountains, where his only companions are a falcon and a weasel. He learns to live off the land and struggles to survive nature, hunters and loneliness. Ages 9-12
Dorris, Arthur. Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean. New York: Harper Collins, 1991.
Explains how water flows from brooks to rivers, over waterfalls, through dams and cities, to the ocean. Ages 4-8
Farndon, John. How the Earth Works.
New York: Reader’s Digest & Assoc., Inc., 1992. One hundred experiments and projects for parents and children to explore the earth. Ages 9-12
Glaser, Omri. Round the Garden. Illustrated by Byron Glaser and Sandra Higashi. New York: Harry Abrams, Inc., 1999.
Two young gardeners witness the almost magical effect of a single drop of water on their entire garden. This is a charming introduction to the wonders of the water cycle. Ages 2-5
Greenfield, Eloise. Water, Water. Illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. New York: Harper Festival, 1999.
A toddler enjoys rainwater, fishbowl water, river water, wading pool water, and sink water, finally asking, “May I please have a little water to drink?” Ages 1-3
Heinz, Brian. Butternut Hollow Pond. New York: Millbrook Press Trade, 2000.
Describes the course of the day from dawn to night in a pond. The food chain, and the many close escapes involved in animals’ attempts to eat one another, provide narrative momentum and suspense. Ages 9-12
Hesse, Karen. Come On, Rain. Illustrated by John J. Muth. New York: Scholastic Press, 1999.
A young girl eagerly awaits a rainstorm to bring relief from the oppressive summer heat. Ages 5-7
Hooper, Meredith. The Drop in My Drink. Illustrated by Chris Coady. New York: Viking (Penguin Group), 1998.
The story of water on our planet. Ages 9-12
Hooper, Meredith. River Story. Illustrated by Bee Willey. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2000.
Thousands of rivers help to shape the surface of our planet. Ages 4-8
Jackobsen, Kathy. My New York. New York: Little Brown & Co., 1993.
A young New Yorker invites a friend from the Midwest to join her on a tour of her favorite places. From the Museum of Natural History to underground water mains, enjoy this celebration of a fascinating city. Ages 4-8
Lobb, Janice. SPLISH! SPLOSH! New York: Kingfisher, 2000.
Look at the science behind bath-time fun with Archie the elephant and Bob the Duck. As they splash and blow bubbles they wonder- Why do some things float and others sink? How does soap get us clean? What makes waves? Ages 4-8
Locker, Thomas. Cloud Dance. New York: Harcourt Brace & Co., 2000.
In lyrical text and glorious paintings, take a journey through the world of clouds. Ages 4-8
Locker, Thomas. Water Dance. New York: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1997.
Water speaks of its existence as storm clouds, mist, rainbows and rivers. Ages 4-8
Locker, Thomas. Where The River Begins. New York: Penguin Books, 1984.
A three day journey to find the source of a river amid changing landscapes. Ages 4-8
Macaulay, David. The New Way Things Work. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998.
An introduction to the scientific principles and workings of hundreds of machines. Ages 10 and up
MacDonald, Fiona. Water. Illustrated by Peter Bull, Sarah John, and Carolyn Scrace. New York: Franklin Watts, 2000.
Explores all the uses of water on the planet, including sports, art, music, and travel. Ages 8-12
Mackay, Donald A. The Building of Manhattan. New York: Harper & Row, 1987.
An awe-inspiring panorama of architectural and engineering marvels. Ages 10 and up
Marzollo, Jean. I Am Water. Illustrated by Judith Moffatt. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1996.
A simple, easy reader about the importance of water. Ages 4-8
Maze, Stephanie. I Want To Be ... An Environmentalist. New York: Harcourt Brace & Co., 2000.
Highlights ways students can learn about careers in the environment, including programs offered at the High School for Environmental Studies. Ages 9-12
McKinney, Barbara Shaw. A Drop Around the World. Illustrated by Michael Maydak. Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 1998.
A journey with a raindrop as it touches all lifeforms as a solid, liquid, and vapor from Maine to Mumbai. Also see A Teacher’s Guide to a Drop Around the World for lesson ideas. Ages 4-8
Oatman, Linda High. Under New York. Illustrated by Robert Rayevsky. New York: Holiday House, 2001.
What goes on right under your feet? Ages 4-8
Schmid, Eleonore. The Living Earth. New York: North-South Books,1994.
Softly colored panoramic views and poetic language emphasize the wonder and beauty of the natural world. Along with describing the amazing cycle of renewal taking place just below the earth’s surface, you can also learn about caring for Earth’s resources. Ages 4-8
Schmid, Eleonore. The Water Journey. Zurich, Switzerland: North-South Books, 1989.
A great book for children to help them understand the water cycle and the important role it plays in supporting life on Earth. Ages 4-8
Seattle, Chief (1790-1866). Brother Eagle, Sister Sky. Illustrated by Susan Jaffers. New York: Dial Books, 1991.
A Squamish Indian Chief describes his people’s respect and love for the earth and concern about its destruction. Ages 4-8
Seixas, Judith S. Water: What It Is, What It Does. Illustrated by Tom Huffman. New York: Green Willow Books, 1987.
An introduction to water including scientific experiments. Ages 8-12
Seuling, Barbara. Drip! Drop! How Water Gets to Your Tap. Illustrated by Nancy Tobin. New York: Holiday House, 2000.
Clear text explains both the earth’s water cycle and how we get water from rivers and streams into our homes. This book guides the reader through complex ideas including evaporation and water filtration. Ages 4-8
Shannon, David. The Rain Came Down. New York: Blue Sky Press, 2000.
Humorous story in which chaos occurs as a result of the rain that came down on a Saturday morning. Ages 4-8
Silver, Donald M. One Small Square Pond. Illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1994.
Activities for children to help discover creatures living in ponds. Ages 4-8
Stuve-Boden, Stephanie. Mama Elizabeti. Illustrated by Christy Hale. New York: Lee & Low Books, Inc., 2000.
When her mother has a new baby, Elizabeti becomes in charge of her younger brother and finds it difficult to take care of him while doing her chores. Beautiful illustrations will enable the reader to appreciate Elizabeti’s difficulties. Ages 4-8
Wick, Walter. A Drop Of Water. New York: Scholastic Press, 1997.
Evaporation, condensation, capillary attraction and surface tension are explained and viewed in photographs. Ages 4-8
Yardley, Thomas. Down the Drain: Explore Your Plumbing. Connecticut: Millbrook Press, 1991.
Discusses the principles of household plumbing, wastewater treatment, water supply, conservation and personal hygiene. Ages 9-12
Yashima, Taro. Umbrella. New York: Puffin, 1985.
Momo gets red rubber boots and an umbrella for her birthday but must wait for it to rain before she can use them. Ages 1-4
Yolen, Jane. Letting Swift River Go. Illustrated by Barbara Cooney. New York: Little Brown and Company, 1992.
Sally Jane’s experience of the drowning of Swift River towns to create the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts. Ages 4-8
Zoehfeld, Kathleen Weidner. What is the World Made Of?: All About Solids, Liquids, and Gases. Illustrated by Paul Meisel. New York: Harper Collins, 1998.
In simple text, this book presents three states of matter and describes their characteristics. Ages 4-8
Web Sites for Kids
The American Museum of Natural History presents “Ology,” a totally free web site for kids. It offers a unique Museum experience for kids through stories, games, and activities based on their interest in specific Ologies.
The New York Hall of Science web site for kids offers the excitement of contemporary science and technology through interactive activities and experiments online and off. It has a changing gallery of resources from a host of science centers worldwide.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Education Web page. Links to “Kid’s Page” which offers illustrated information about the different steps of the water treatment process, a “pollution drawing gallery” and an interactive “what’s wrong with this picture?” activity.
The United States Geological Survey’s Water Science for Schools Web page. A colorful array of information about the properties of water, which will grab kids’ attention with graphics, activities, quizzes, and “fun facts.”
This Web site’s Global Waterways section teaches about water around the world from a scientific and social perspective.
The Web site for the Mojave Water Agency has a great Kid’s Corner that teaches them all about water with fantastic images of the water cycle.
Coloring activities and sourcebook about water for children from the Water Environment Federation.
The New Jersey section of the American Water Works Website allows kids to investigate various topics about water through activities, projects, and fun facts.
The American Museum of Natural History presents Resources for Learning. This website makes science exciting through hands-on activities, interactive simulations, videos of scientists at work, photo galleries from the museum’s collections, and by providing stories of expeditions around the world.
This website serves as a companion to the PBS series Wild TV. It offers information about animals and plants, and ways to help protect the environment. The website features episode guides, and links to online and print resources.
The New York Academy of Sciences created the Science EduNet website. It provides information on science, math, and technology resources and enrichment programs in the Tri-State Region. Designed for students, parents, and teachers it offers an expansive frequently asked questions section, along with information about science competitions.
Books for Adults
Benincasa, Janis, editor. I Walked the Road Again: Catskill Lockup Songs. Fleischmanns, New York: Purple Mountain Press, LTD., 1994.
An exploration of history and tradition through great stories passionately written by Catskill folklore storytellers.
Bernhardt, Debra E., and Bernstein, Rachel. Ordinary People Extraordinary Lives: A Pictorial History of Working People in New York City. New York and London: New York University Press, 2000.
This pictorial history brings to life the breathtaking and often heartbreaking stories of the workers who built New York City in the 20th century.
Biehorst, John. The Ashokan Catskills: A Natural History. Fleischmanns, New York: Purple Mountain Press, LTD., 1995.
A close look at the unique flora, fauna, geology, history and ecology of the Catskill Mountains.
Black, Mary. Old New York in Early Photographs: 1853-1901. New York: Dover Publications, 1976.
Have you ever wondered what Manhattan was like 100 years ago? This pictorial album will open your eyes to a “lost” half century of New York architecture.
Burns, Ric, James Sanders, and Lisa Ades. New York: An Illustrated History. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.
This book captures all the beauty, complexity, and power of New York. Based on “New York: A Documentary Film.”
Burrows, Edwin and Mike Wallace. Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
A monumental history of New York City from its earliest natives to its consolidation as Greater New York in 1898.
Cronin, John and Robert F. Kennedy. The Riverkeepers: Two Activists Fight to Reclaim Our Environment as a Basic Human Right. New York: Touchstone Books, 1999.
Traces the exploitation of
the Hudson River since the 1960s and the environmental activism that ensued because of it.
Evers, Alf. The Catskills: From Wilderness to Woodstock. Woodstock, New York: The Overlook Press, 1982.
A definitive history of the Catskills.
Forist, Brian E., & Panetta, Roger G., & Stanne, Stephen P. The Hudson: An Illustrated Guide to the Living River. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1996.
A guide book to the plants, wildlife and geological forces that created the Hudson River.
Francis, Austin M. Catskill Rivers: Birthplace of American Fly Fishing. New York: The Lyons Press, 1996.
The Beaverkill, Neversink, Schoharie...these Catskill mountain-front rivers are hailed as the birthplace of American fly fishing. Here are their stories.
Galusha, Diane. Liquid Assets: A History of New York City's Water System.
Fleischmanns, New York: Purple Mountain Press, 1999.
An exploration of the technical, political and social history of the water supply system, from the time when wells supplied the 17th century Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam to the landmark watershed and New York City partnership programs.
Goldman, Joanne Abel. Building New York’s Sewers: Developing Mechanisms. Indiana: Purdue University Press, 1997.
A unique perspective in which sewers provide a useful window through which to see a city evolve.
Greenberg, Stanley. Invisible New York: The Hidden Infrastructure of the City. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.
A photographic exploration through the vast and largely unknown infrastructure that keeps New York running night and day.
Greenberg, Stanley. Waterworks: A Photographic Journey Through New york’s Hidden Water System. Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2003.
Black and white photographs capture the beauty and mystery of New York’s water supply system, from its watershed, aqueducts, reservoirs, tunnels, gatehouses, and tanks.
Granick, Harry. Underneath New York. New York, New York: Fordham University Press, 1991.
Do you wonder what goes on down a manhole, if there are alligators in the sewers and what other mysteries lie beneath the sidewalks of New York? Reproduced from the 1947 classic.
Hall, Edward. Water for New York City. Saugerties, New York: Hope Farm Press, 1993.
An evolutionary perspective of the demand and supply of water for New York City from primitive pumps to the development of reservoirs and aqueducts.
Haskin, Kathleen. The Ways of the Watersheds: An Educator's Guide to the Environmental and Cultural Dynamics of New York City’s Water Supplies. Claryville, New York: A Frost Valley YMCA Publication, 1995.
A multi-grade guide to teaching students about water and New York’s water supply.
Homberger, Eric. Historical Atlas of New York City. New York, New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1994.
Beautiful drawings, paintings, photographs and maps accompany this detailed description of New York City’s 400 year evolution from a “Hilly Island” to a “Cultural Capital,” with particular emphasis on the City’s physical development.
Jackson, Kenneth (Ed.). Encyclopedia of New York City. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.
A reference book which answers every who, when and why of New York City, from the length of the Brooklyn Bridge to the history of the water supply system.
Jacobson, Alice H. Beneath Pepacton Waters. Andes, New York: Pepacton Press, 1998.
An account of life as it used to be in the villages of Pepacton, Shavertown, Union and Arena before and during the creation of the Pepacton Reservoir.
Jacobson, Alice H., & Jacobson, Robert. Echoes Along the Delaware. Andes, New York: Pepacton Press, 1992.
A collection of old stories and photos of the first settlers and their accomplishments in the Catskills.
Koeppel, Gerard T. Water for Gotham: A History. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000.
A history of New York City’s development as linked to its evolving water supply system, particularly the City’s first upstate reservoirs and aqueduct, the Croton System.
Kudish, Michael. The Catskill Forest: A History. Fleischmanns, New York: Purple Mountain Press, 2000.
The vegetational history of the Catskill’s mountain ranges, valleys and watersheds, including detailed maps.
Meade, Walter F. In the Catskill Mountains: A Personal Approach to Nature. Fleischmanns, New York: Purple Mountain Press, 1991.
An individualized view about the beautiful creatures and plants that inhabit the Catskill Mountains and coexist with development.
Outwater, Alice. Water: A Natural History. New York, New York: Basic Books, 1992.
A story of the symbiosis that exists between the country's water, the land and the life it supports.
Steuding, Bob. The Last of the Handmade Dams: The Story of the Ashokan Reservoir. Fleischmanns, New York: Purple Mountain Press, 1995.
The history of the building of one of New York City's largest reservoirs.
Swazey, Edward S. The Shandaken Tunnel. New York: Ulen & Company, 1923, reprinted in 1998 by the Empire State Railway Museum.
A description of a great engineering and technological feat connecting two Catskill watersheds to supply New York City with water.
Symons, Dr. James M. Plain Talk About Drinking Water: Questions and Answers About the Water You Drink. New York: American Water Works Association, 1997.
You will find straight forward answers to more than 160 of the most commonly asked questions about drinking water.
Thoreau, Henry D. Walden. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1971.
An account of a year the author spent alone in a pond-side cabin in the woods.
Titus, Robert. The Catskills: A Geological Guide. Fleischmanns, New York: Purple Mountain Press, 1998.
A story of continental collisions, lost mountain ranges,
and primitive fossil creatures to help understand the Catskill Mountains'
Web Sites for Adults
The United States Geological Survey’s Water Science for Schools web page; an exhaustive and entertaining look at the properties of water.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Education web page.
Links to the various programs of the Watershed Agricultural Council.
National Geographic’s fascinating tour of a “core sample” of New York City underground, including everything from water mains to the subway to power lines.
The homepage for the Trout-in-the-Classroom Program, which links New York City students with upstate students as they raise trout and then release them into watershed streams.
Frost Valley YMCA’s web page, offering information about various outdoor environmental programs and general information about environmental education.
The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development’s homepage.
A web site of general information and scientific data about Westchester County streams.
The homepage of the Water Environment Federation is a clearinghouse for water information.
The Environmental Literacy Council provides links to water sites and information about water. This Web site guides students and teachers to the best online resources.
The Water on the Web homepage trains students to solve real-world environmental problems. This site provides in-depth lessons and tutorials about water.
This is the Catskill and New York City Watershed Educators’ Network that links teachers and students in the New York City West-of-Hudson watershed with their counterparts in the City. This site provides educational resources.
This site explains key terms the public and/or public health officials are likely to encounter in reading the nation’s water company reports. It contains scientific background on the pollutants most likely to be found in tap water.
Last updated January 19, 2007