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Children's LiteratureThe river's story is told as if by Storm King Mountain, which overlooks its flow from northern New York State to the Atlantic Ocean. Native Americans moved up the river valley ten thousand years ago, living in harmony with nature. Henry Hudson sailed his ship up the river four hundred years ago, as European settlers began to arrive. Revolution brought a new republic. "The mountain and the river saw it all," is the repeated refrain, as is "We are all part of nature and nature is part of us." The story continues with the painters and writers inspired by the river as well as the commercial interests seeking to destroy the very sources of their inspiration. The efforts of groups supporting environmental concerns lead to the current improvements around the river, with hopes that we can "praise the glory of creation and work to preserve it for future generations." Locker's full-page naturalistic oil paintings tell the visual history from a hilltop perspective, with no close-ups. He uses color to convey emotions, with red skies evoking troubled times and blue to enhance the more hopeful aspects of the river's future. The book is like an art exhibition with elaborate labels, along with an environmental message strongly stated by the author. An extensive bibliography is included. 2004, Fulcrum Publishing, Ages 6 to 10.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz