Every Last Drop: Bringing Clean Water Home

by Michelle Mulder

Orca Book Publishers, 2014
ISBN 978-1-4598-0223-0
$19.95, 48 pp, illustrations, resources, index, ages 8 – 12

The Orca "Footprints Collection" consists of seven short non-fiction works on topics that include green energy and the environment. Every Last Drop is a part of that series and it is a celebration of water that aims to instruct elementary school children on how to "care for the precious liquid that gives us life." Michelle Mulder starts the work with a very personal story about how she nearly died in Peru after ingesting impure water, and then goes on to explain how cisterns, wells, aqueducts, flush toilets, filters and desalinization plants have evolved around the world. Mulder explains the water cycle and the current global crisis of drying aquifers, while showing how proper conservation and a common sense approach to water would go a long way toward the maintenance of this essential resource. Interesting "water facts" appear on every second page or so, Mulder adds personal and pertinent anecdotes throughout, and the work is illustrated with dozens of colour photographs.

Classroom Connections: American teachers can access the Common Core State Standards for this work on the publisher's website but Canadian teachers would not have far to look in terms of provincial policies or curricula for places where this book could be employed. Ontario's Environmental Education (2011), for example, offers dozens of expectations—from dance to science—that deal with clean water, while Manitoba's Education for Sustainable Development program involves real life school-based initiatives as well as embedded environmental curriculum requirements. For elementary school teachers everywhere, Mulder's work represents a fine new resource that students will enjoy reading.

[Review by George Sheppard.]

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