River Stories by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Ashling Lindsay & Irene Montano

 

River Stories by Timothy Knapman
Review Copy from Harper 360


Design and content pair brilliantly in the non-fiction picture book River Stories. Featuring fascinating facts about the Nile, Mississippi, Rhine, Yangtzee and Amazon, Lindsay and Montano's illustrations flow across four page gatefold spreads.

Before unfolding the river, Knapman sets the stage, from the length of the river to its origin and, of course the country, continent and regions it traverses. An small map lets readers see the course the river takes. My one and only wish for River Stories would be endpapers or an extra page with a map of the world, the five rivers highlighted. I do love the way Knapman includes folklore and festivals for each river, from the raft that ferries the Wild Man, carrying a pine tree that symbolizes life, down the Rhine each January, the Dolphin Goddess of the Yangtzee. and El Tunchi, the whistling ghost protectorate of the Amazon. 

The backside of each gatefold spread focuses on one aspect of the river. Exploration, migration, mythology and the Lost City of Cahokia, mysteriously abandoned along the banks of the Mississippi in the 12th century add depth to the adventure, from source to sea.

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