Raven and River

Overview

Raven and River leads young readers on a fantastical journey with a raven across the icy Alaska landscape on the verge of spring. Along the way, the raven’s sonorous cry wakes a cast of sleeping woodland creatures, including a bear, a beaver, a hare, and a squirrel—all of whom join him in imploring the still-frozen river to melt and thereby initiate the change of seasons. Packed with information and featuring vibrant full-color illustrations by Jon Van Zyle, Raven and River brings to life these two important ...

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Overview

Raven and River leads young readers on a fantastical journey with a raven across the icy Alaska landscape on the verge of spring. Along the way, the raven’s sonorous cry wakes a cast of sleeping woodland creatures, including a bear, a beaver, a hare, and a squirrel—all of whom join him in imploring the still-frozen river to melt and thereby initiate the change of seasons. Packed with information and featuring vibrant full-color illustrations by Jon Van Zyle, Raven and River brings to life these two important harbingers of Alaska’s spring.

Raven and the other animals try to awaken the frozen river to the coming Alaskan springtime.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Donna Freedman
Alaska residents will appreciate this book more than anyone else will because they've seen endless winters and heard the gurgling, watery cry of ravens. Carlstrom uses terse yet poetic language, heavy on internal rhymes, to show river ice breaking up and animals' celebration of springtime. Van Zyle, a popular Alaska painter, has some trouble depicting animals, but his use of cool blues, grays and lavenders give an authentic northern feel to his snowy landscapes.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3The beauty and majesty of nature is brought to life in this dramatic, richly descriptive picture book. Bold, realistic views of wildlife blend wonderfully with a lyrical, poetic text. The story follows a raven as it travels along an Alaskan river announcing the arrival of spring across the still-frozen landscape. As the bird flies along, it passes over other woodland creatures, including a squirrel, a bear, and a beaver. Each animal adds its voice to the raven's, asking that the ice covering the river melt and allow for the season's change to begin. The naturalistic acrylic paintings are the perfect complement to the spare, onomatopoetic narrative. One painting shows a close-up of a snowshoe hare bounding forward, directly toward readers. It is a compelling reminder that these are wild animals, not the fluffy, friendly creatures that often inhabit children's picture books. A fine choice for story hours devoted to nature or the seasons.Melissa Hudak, North Suburban District Library, Roscoe, IL
Kirkus Reviews
A writer (Let's Count It Out, Jesse Bear, 1996, etc.) and an artist who live in Alaska create a powerful and beautiful read-aloud set in their region.

Raven "swoops out of winter into spring," a sculptured black shape against the snow, to "wake the sleeping River." That refrain follows a red squirrel, ruffled grouse, wolf, snowshoe hare, bear, and beaver as each animal moves, in its way, into the spring: awakening, running, yowling. The River responds as the ice melts, and the final, gorgeous panel shows Raven above a free-flowing river and land touched with green. The richly painted acrylics delineate the animals and the Alaskan landscape, giving them character without any show of sentimentality. The text appears in a strong, elegant typeface on the full-page, full-bleed illustrations. A fine piece of natural history (an author's note is included) with a mythic edge.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781602231504
  • Publisher: University of Alaska Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,354,919
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Based in Seattle, Nancy White Carlstrom has written more than sixty books for children. Jon Van Zyle is an award-winning artist whose illustrations appear in many children’s books, including A Woolly Mammoth Journey and A Caribou Journey.

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Table of Contents

Raven and River
A story by Nancy White Carlstrom
Illustrated by Jon Van Zyle

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