Here are four that I recommend to adults and children:
Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul is fantastic. I read this one to my daughter and absolutely fell in love with it.
Pour me in a cup.
Water is water
it heats up
Rhyming text tells the story of water in its various forms. I'm not sure which grade talks about the water cycle, but this is a must have. I'm ordering it for my school library and I bought a copy for myself as well.
Anna and Solomon by Elaine Snyder, illustrated by Harry Bliss is a story both author and illustrator are invested in personally. Snyder tells Anna and Solomon's story of falling in love and starting over in America. Solomon goes alone to the United States to begin working and to make money to bring Anna over from their Russian home. Each time he sends money for her to buy a ticket she sends a member of her family instead of coming herself. Eventually the two are reunited and begin a family. Their oldest daughter, Edna, is Elaine Snyder's mother. And Harry Bliss, the illustrator, is married to Edna's daughter. The family legend of Anna and Solomon's early life has been passed down through the generations. I loved this story, and also the tie-in teachers could use as an introduction to legends and stories passed down through generations.
My students love stories that are true. That's one of the first questions they ask- even after I've often told them they are listening to a non-fiction book.
Rebecca Bond shares the story that she heard from her mother from her grandfather's boyhood. Her grandfather lived in Canada where his mother operated a hotel. One summer there was a fire that forced all the hotel residents - some of them trappers and hunters who stayed there for months on end- to stand in the water in order to stay safe. The animals, many who hid from people also came into the water, standing right next to the humans.
My nine year-old loved this book which I read to her before bed and the various grades I shared this with also enjoyed it.
Just keep in mind, you're never too old to enjoy a picture book!