Books, Reviews

The Wondrous World of Water Bodies According to Hoyle

Here is me approaching the wondrous world of water bodies according to Hoyle! If you are wondering ‘Who is this Hoyle?’, in short, he was an Englishman who was thought to be the first technical writer on card games. There is one section dedicated to more about him later in this post. But first…

According to Hoyle, or Emulating his Voice

In the realm of water bodies, there are no spades, no hearts, no clubs, and certainly no diamonds – only ripples, currents, waves, and tides. The stakes are not measured in chips or coins but in the very essence of life itself. Whether you’re a seasoned gambler or a novice, prepare to be enthralled by the rules of nature, where water is the dealer, and the game is existence.

As we set sail on this journey, do not expect to find decks or dice. Instead, we will embrace the currents to become our pathways, the water-creatures our players, and all those mysterious hidden depths our unturned cards. By looking deeper at each of these wondrous water bodies, we are sure to uncover the rules that nature herself has set in motion. You’ll find that in the grand tapestry of life, water is the ultimate trump card.

So, my dear readers, set aside your cards, put down your dice, and embrace this detour into the realm of water bodies. You may not find a royal flush, but you will definitely discover the secrets of Earth’s aqueous hand!

Without further ado, let the literary aquatic journey begin, and may the waters be ever in your favor!

Exploring Wondrous Water Bodies

This week’s topic for top ten Tuesday over at ThatArtsyReaderGirl is: Water. These can be books that take place on/in/under the water, books with water/bodies of water in the title or on the cover, etc. I noticed now that I did this theme last week without realizing it (was World Water Week), but decided to find more water books (not too difficult since I have read many..)

In the Middle of the Puddle

In the Middle of the Puddle by Mike Thaler with pictures by Bruce Degen (Children’s Fiction | 3 – 8 years, and up | Harpercollins Childrens Books | January 1, 1988)

A frog and a turtle watch the rain turn their puddle into an ocean before the sun comes along and returns things to normal

Such a uniquely told story that somehow ends up teaching kids different water bodies while exploring friendship, change, normalcy and newness, comfort zones, and more.

A Different Pond

A Different Pond by Bao Phi and illustrated by Thi Bui (Children’s Books on Immigration for 6 – 8 years, and up | Capstone Young Readers | August 1, 2017)

A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event – a long-ago fishing trip. Graphic novelist Thi Bui and acclaimed poet Bao Phi deliver a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son – and between cultures, old and new.

My one-word review for this story earlier might have just said all I need to say about this book – Touching.

The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky

The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky by Jihyun Kim (Children’s Nature Books | 4 – 7 years, and up | Floris Books | April 19, 2022)

Without a word, The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky tells the heartfelt and uplifting story of a child’s independent discovery of the natural world

Source: Netgalley digital review copy

Stunning is the word that comes to mind as I turned the last page of this book (albeit virtually!). The book proves the power of pictures and visuals as the artwork takes us, as the title says, from the depths of a lake to the heights of the sky effortlessly!

Woman Hollering Creek

Woman Hollering Creek: And Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros (Hispanic Literary Fiction/Short Stories | Vintage | March 3, 1992)

The lovingly drawn characters of these stories give voice to the vibrant and varied life on both sides of the Mexican border with tales of pure discovery, filled with moments of infinite and intimate wisdom.

Cisneros is talented, and each story I read so far in this book proves it. I started with the title story and was drawn into it instantly. One of the stories here – Eleven – is a story I read earlier, and I recall being awed by her writing skills. Read it…

John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall

John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall by Julie Danneberg and illustrated by Jamie Hogan (Children’s Historical Biographies | 4 – 8 years, and up | Charlesbridge | March 10, 2015)

The now iconic figure John Muir, while living at the base of Yosemite Falls in California, ventures up the trail from his cabin one night and has a harrowing waterfall adventure. Back matter roots the story in Muir’s life’s work as a conservationist and naturalist.

I had to check out this book the moment I saw mention of John Muir and Yosemite. And I am so very glad I did. For now I have a new book that I am going to recommend for all adventure and nature lovers (of all ages). It surprised me in so many ways – Jamie Hogan’s pencil sketches bring John Muir’s world to life (and in the way he talked about it); the main narrative that is lyrical, exciting, scary, and shows Muir the brave explorer; the side-narrative (in a smaller font on each facing page of the main story) that gives insights into John Muir; and the backmatter!

All in all, a read as wonderful as the iconic man and the wondrous waterfall it features.


Rivers : A Visual History from River to Sea by Peter Goes (Non-fiction/Children’s picture Books/Geography | 7 – 12 years, and up | Gecko Press | Oct 2018)

A breathtaking journey along the world’s most important rivers, from the author of international bestseller Timeline.

A book that is as grand as the rivers it features. A mighty addition to school libraries and a coffee table book that will be one not just for display but always in use! This is a totally giftable book, for those lovers of geography, coffee table books that are worthy and fact-filled, and for that everyone!

You can read my complete review here.

Old Man of the Sea

Old Man of the Sea by Stella Elia and illustrated by Weberson Santiago (Children’s Fiction | 5 – 8 years, and up | Lantana Publishing | Sept 2019)

A trip around the world for a young boy and his boat-loving grandpa where the true joy of discovery lies not in the countries they visit but in the blossoming relationship between them.

This is definitely a great addition to your library; a picture book that celebrates life & its beautiful relationships, and is perfect for sharing between grandparents & grandchildren. Check out my complete review here.

Olive’s Ocean

Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes (Children’s Multigenerational Fiction | 8 – 12 years, and up | Greenwillow Books | July 2, 2013)

A brilliant, touching coming-of-age story

A currently-reading book that I am finding hard to put down (but did so for the sake of finishing this post). It tugs at your heartstrings right from the very first lines, and does so effortlessly. Based on what I see of the description and know of the author, I am going to be teary-eyed for a bit.

Fun With Oceans and Seas

Fun with Oceans and Seas: A Big Activity Book for Kids about Our Wonderful Waters (and Marvelous Marine Life) by Emily Greenhalgh and illustrated by Candela Ferrández (Children’s Activity Books | 6 – 9 years, and up | Z Kids | September 19, 2023)

Dive into fascinating facts and 100 fun activities featuring the world’s magnificent oceans and seas!

Source: Netgalley digital review copy

I love this combination of information and activity based learning. Loads of fun and factoids make this book that is sure to keep young ones occupied for hours on end while being entertained and educated in the process.


Flooded by Mariajo Ilustrajo (Children;s Fiction | 3 – 6 years, and up | Frances Lincoln Children’s Books | May 3, 2022)

Flooded is the funny and beautifully illustrated tale of animals who live in a city that is ever so slowly flooding.

Source: Netgalley digital review copy

It is hard to decide whether I like the artwork here or the story. I think it is both. One with delightful details in the illustrations and with many discussion worthy points in the narrative. Messages of teamwork, community, confronting problems head-on, and lending a helping hand among others make this a sweet learning experience.

Honorary Mentions

  • Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, The
  • Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea, The
  • Power of Snow, The
  • Tale of Jemina-Puddle Duck, The
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • Witch of Blackbird Pond, The

About the Hoyle Behind ‘According to Hoyle’

Edmund Hoyle (1672 – 1769) was an Englishman known for his expertise in card games and other pastimes. His name became synonymous with the phrase “according to Hoyle,” which means in accordance of established rules and practices.

Hoyle’s most significant contribution was his series of works on card games. His first book, “A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist”, became popular for its clear explanations of rules and strategies. This marked the beginning of his career as a preeminent authority on card games. Hoyle continued to publish guides on various games. These included backgammon and chess as well. The books earned him widespread recognition for his meticulous attention to detail and his insistence on standardized rules.

Edmund Hoyle’s impact endures to this day, with his name remaining a symbol of expertise and authority in the realm of games. Many modern books of collected rule sets for card games (and sometimes other games, such as board games, billiards, etc.) use the name “Hoyle” in their titles though Hoyle might not have not written much of those instructions (or any of them). This usage of his name has kind of made him immortal, don’t you think!?

And why the post today? Hoyle died on August 29th 1769, and while we don’t know the who and when of the event, ‘According to Hoyle’ day has been observed on August 29th for sometime now.

Related Reads

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader. have you read any of these books? If 👍🏻, what are your thoughts on the same? If not, which one would you pick? As always, welcome your thoughts and recommendations on this post.

18 thoughts on “The Wondrous World of Water Bodies According to Hoyle

  1. A wonderful selection of books featuring water! I think “The Depth of the Sea and the Height of the Sky” is now on my shopping list to gift to my niece. Thanks!

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed your engaging post, filled with insightful book recommendations related to water. Your clever incorporation of Edmund Hoyle’s legacy added a unique touch. Keep up the excellent work, and I look forward to more captivating reads from you! 📚🌊

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