Give Her the River: A Father's Wish for His Daughter

Give Her the River: A Father's Wish for His Daughter

by Michael Dennis Browne, Wendell Minor
     
 

A father decides a river best captures his feelings for his little girl. A gift of life and changing beauty, a river encompasses so much more than meets the eye. It is the swan gliding upon its surface in the morning, the craggy stone steps leading down to its bank, the puppy trotting alongside a jogger on the path beside it, the drifting sailboat, and the hammock,… See more details below

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Overview

A father decides a river best captures his feelings for his little girl. A gift of life and changing beauty, a river encompasses so much more than meets the eye. It is the swan gliding upon its surface in the morning, the craggy stone steps leading down to its bank, the puppy trotting alongside a jogger on the path beside it, the drifting sailboat, and the hammock, perfect for reading stories in, beneath the willows that drape overhead. A river is a gift of possibility and challenges, a gift that expresses all things for which there are no words.

Give Her the River is a lyrical reflection of a father's love for his young daughter, and is sure to resonate with any father besotted with his little girl, and any little girl with a besotted daddy.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Touching paintings of a girl and her father accompany the poetry of Give Her the River: A Father's Wish for His Daughter by Michael Dennis Browne, illus. by Wendell Minor. The poem relates the narrator's desire to impart every aspect of the river to his progeny: "Give her the way the willows lean, how they sway in the green of their dreams." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The poem is set against beautiful illustrations of a river as it flows through a bucolic countryside. Through his words, the father wishes all the wonders of the world for his daughter and these thoughts are expressed in his comments about the river. It opens at dawn, which is also a parallel for the dawn of his daughter's life, with beautiful swans gliding down the smooth water. The same wish would be for her life to be smooth and filled with the delight each new day brings. As the seasons change so does the life of his daughter. We see the growth of blue wildflowers and the fully sprouted oak leaves in late spring and early summer. During the hot days of summer, father and daughter relax and enjoy reading and just spending time together. In the fall, the fiery orange leaves are a startling background for the image of a black Scottish terrier. That glowing autumn is followed by the frozen, snow covered ground, but a river that is still flowing. The year begins again and so does this child grow older. The father warm wishes are to share the last light of the evening and celebrate the arrival of baby ducks (new life) on this ever moving, ever flowing river of life. Wendell Minor brings all of the seasons and the delight that this young girl and her father take from their life together, which is metaphorically symbolized by the river. While it is a picture book for younger children, older girls and women will recognize the message. Some men (dads) are unable to express their real feelings in words, and this book may be a perfect way for them to show how much they really do care about their daughters. 2004, Atheneum, Ages 4 to 8.
—Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Browne's picture-book debut romanticizes a river and a father's love for his daughter. "If I could give her anything," he writes, he would "give her the river," the "way the willows lean," the "swallows/that flicker flicker flicker," and the "fresh shiny leaves/of the oaks and elms." The sentiments expressed in the poem may be heartfelt, but they are also impossibly grand and emptily extravagant, and therein lies the book's weakness. Minor's unremarkable watercolor illustrations frequently miss the mark as an accompaniment to the text. When Browne describes a line of geese that "think they're pulling that boat behind them," readers see no boat, and when he mentions a jogger who "grin[s]" while passing by, there is no jogger in the picture. This book's excessively precious sentimentality leaves it ringing less than true.-Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689843266
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
05/01/2004
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
11.64(w) x 8.48(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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