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Over in a River: Flowing Out to the Sea

Over in a River: Flowing Out to the Sea

5.0 4
by Marianne Berkes, Jill Dubin (Illustrator)

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The great rivers of North America are teeming with life and on the pages of "Over in a River - from blue herons in the Hudson to salmon in the Columbia, and from dragonflies in the Rio Grande to mallards in the St. Lawrence. Children will "slither" like water snakes and "slide" like otters while singing to the tune of "Over in a Meadow


The great rivers of North America are teeming with life and on the pages of "Over in a River - from blue herons in the Hudson to salmon in the Columbia, and from dragonflies in the Rio Grande to mallards in the St. Lawrence. Children will "slither" like water snakes and "slide" like otters while singing to the tune of "Over in a Meadow." And they'll count baby animals in watersheds all over North America! What a delightful way to learn about riparian habitats and geography at the same time!

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
From one manatee calf paddling in Florida's St. Johns River to 10 otter pups sliding in the Mississippi, Berkes adapts the familiar counting rhyme to introduce river animals, their "baby" names, their actions and some U.S. geography. Sixth in a series of predictable, successful titles based on "Over in the Meadow," this one adds to the learning mix. Each spread includes the animal and its one to 10 young, shown in their environment; a hidden, additional animal; a map with the river labeled; a numeral; and one to 10 cattails as well as the appropriate verse. The final spread presents a large map of the United States with each river and its respective animal(s) labeled. Extensive backmatter includes an illustrator's note describing Dubin's research and methods for making her cut-paper collages, which are enhanced with pastels. As in other books in the series, the author's note points out that while the actions and baby names are correct, these animals may live elsewhere as well, and they don't necessarily bear that exact number of young. There is further information about the animals and rivers described, suggested activities, and a page with the song and chords. Fitting the words to music can be tricky; those who plan to sing this should practice first, but they will be rewarded by a storytime audience filled with standing herons, waddling ducks, whirling dragonflies and squealing kits. (Informational picture book. 3-8)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In this counting book set to the rhythmic pattern of the classic song, "Over in the Meadow," we are taken to ten different rivers in the United States. On each double page we meet the creatures that inhabit that river along with a map showing its location. From one manatee calf and two heron chicks we encounter a salmon and salmon smolts, a mallard duck and ducklings, a water snake and hatchlings, a beaver and kits, a dragonfly and her children, a muskrat and her kits, a tree frog and froglets, and finally a river otter and ten pups. Dubin's cut paper animals and plants are both naturalistic and esthetically designed to make the double pages very attractive. The heron and chicks on the cover are typical of the illustrations offering information about the creatures and their environments while emphasizing actions. A mother salmon leaps; a quartet of frogs jumps in a clump of cattails; a band of river otters plays, etc. Additional features includenotes about the included creatures, added tips from both author and illustrator, the music for the song, and a large map. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-K—Berkes uses the rhythm of the familiar song "Over in the Meadow" to highlight some U.S. rivers and the animals that call them home. Each stanza focuses on an animal parent with an incrementally larger group of babies. The names of the babies (pups, ducklings, smolts) are italicized. The number of offspring is colored to help attract attention. Two-thirds of each page is dedicated to an illustration of the animals in their habitats. Salmon leap high over the water, ducks waddle along the shore. The other third includes the text, a number, and a map of the United States with the river marked where the animal might be found. Unfortunately, the maps aren't very helpful-no states are named. The maps are blank except for the Great Lakes and the river's name, which makes it difficult for young audiences to pinpoint its actual location. It's also misleading in that many of the animals appear in multiple regions. The illustrations are done in collage, adding a sense of motion and energy to the dynamic lyrics. They attract readers' attention and create depth (including space to hide an additional animal in each illustration). The prolific back matter allows this simple text to be used and extended in a classroom. Children will enjoy the rhyme and gain a new appreciation of the river environment.—Susan E. Murray, formerly at Glendale Public Library, AZ

Product Details

Dawn Publications
Publication date:
Jo MacDonald Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.26(w) x 10.25(h) x 0.14(d)
AD660L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

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Over in a River: Flowing Out to the Sea 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
Over In A River: Flowing Out To The Seais a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom’s Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS’s Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling Author and; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books. Parents and educators look for the Mom’s Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marianne Berkes has topped herself with her best book yet!  Over in a River is a beautiful and brilliant book about the major rivers of the  United States and the animals that make these rivers their habitat.   As with the other books in her “Over” series, young readers will  absorb the information without even realizing they are learning.  Jill Dubin (Over in Australia, Over in the Arctic, Over in the Forest,) has created stunning paper collage illustrations.  Each illustration includes a map that identifies the location of the river mentioned in the  verse, the animals in their river habitat and a hidden animal that children will delight in spotting.  Berkes concludes the book with extensive research about the rivers and animals, along with additional resources and tips from both the author and the illustrator.   I was provided a paperback copy from the publisher to review, but once I saw how wonderful the book is, I bought a copy in hardback for my school library. Recommended for ages 3- 8.  Judy Houser, Librarian, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, Melbourne, FL.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
, math, reading, and geography all in one fun book Have you ever seen a real, live manatee? Do you even know what it is? Over in the St. John River of Florida “Where the warm waters run Lived a mother manatee And her little calf one.” Manatees are marine mammals which live in the ocean but paddle into warmer rivers when the ocean temperature drops below 65 degrees. Other kinds of animals live in, on, above, or around the great rivers of North America, like blue herons in the Hudson, salmon in the Columbia, dragonflies in the Rio Grande, and mallards in the St. Lawrence. Author Marianne Berkes discusses ten different types of such animals following the same pattern of the children’s folk song "Over in a Meadow" that she used in her five previous books in this series, Over in Australia, Over in the Forest, Over in the Jungle, Over in the Ocean, and Over in the Arctic, the first four of which have been previously reviewed here. Do you know where otters live, what their babies are called, and what they like to do? Not only is the book educational but it also holds children’s attention well with its interactive features. In addition to illustrator Jill Dubin’s colorful cut-paper pictures enhanced with colored pencils and pastels which show the animals in their natural habitats near or on the river, each page names the animal with a map of where it lives, identifies the name of the animal’s babies, and tells what the animals do. There is the added benefit of reinforcing counting from one to ten. And each picture contains a hidden animal for the child to find. Furthermore, the back pages contain more information about the rivers and the animals, along with tips from both the author and the illustrator. Under “Fact or Fiction?”, Berkes writes, “The animals in this story behave as they have been portrayed—muskrats squeal, manatees paddle, and dragonflies whirl. That’s a fact! But do they have the number of babies as in this rhyme? No, that is fiction!” Science, math, reading, and geography all in one fun book—what more could one ask for?