“Hydrie, the Water Molecule”presents a different kind of character for a children’s book, moving through long stretches of time and around the world many times in his two billion years on earth. Hydrie is not a “heroic” character – he is not self-actuated – but lots of things happen to him and he is able to observe natural events and talk to other molecules as he participates in a variety of activities where water is present in the world. The normally invisible molecule is uniquely seen in colorful illustrations of life-size events.
As fiction, this is an adventure story in which an unusual character – a water molecule named Hydrie – arrives on earth rather stressfully on an asteroid two billion years ago and begins a series of experiences through minerals, plants, animals, clouds, caves, oceans and other environments, observing the changes in the earth and living things.
Seen as non-fiction, the book is a tour through major changes in the earth over long periods of time, providing learning opportunities on every page. The elementary reader may readily understand many of the scientific concepts; others are designed to invite further explanation by an adult, but all will incite curiosity. Simple rhymes appear throughout the book to accent the scientific lessons of the story.
The reader will come away from the book with a much greater appreciation for geologic time as well as the presence of water everywhere on earth. Throughout his two billion years on earth (so far) Hydrie doesn’t change a bit.
Water is everywhere on earth – in rivers, lakes and oceans, but also underground, in air, crystals, rocks, plants, animals and people! Hydrie has had two billion years to see many changes in the earth – and to help it change. But Hydrie doesn’t change. In his home in a glacier at the end of the book, he is just like he was two billion years ago, looking forward to a few more eons on earth.
The author, a semi-retired patent attorney who helps in a children’s reading enhancement program, is working on a sequel in which Hydrie helps to germinate a giant redwood tree and is able to help with its growth through the years. The basic functions of water in the germination of seeds and the growth of plants generally will be presented in ways interesting to children. Other water-related subjects will follow in later books.