What Is a River?

Enchanted Lion. Mar. 2021. 48p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781592702794.
Gr 3-5–A teenage girl walks with her grandmother to a nearby river. The granddaughter wants to make a wreath of flowers and leaves; Grandma plans to complete an embroidered tablecloth. “Grandma, what is a river?” the girl asks. “A river is a thread,” her grandma says. “It embroiders our world with beautiful patterns.” Illustrations show grass and weed-covered riverbanks, many with sketchbooklike ink or pencil line drawings. The headings on each page use words that describe rivers as sources of refuge, reflection, and movement. Grandma mentions rivers located in other countries and continents (the Amazon in South America; the Pearl River Delta in China). As they leave the riverbank, the girl places her wreath into the river, with a small wave. The grandmother and her granddaughter are drawn with light skin. The end papers depict Grandma’s tablecloth, heavily embroidered with the day’s lesson.
VERDICT A fascinating introduction to rivers that could inspire kids to learn more.

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