Riparia's River

Riparia's River

5.0 1
by Michael J. Caduto, Olga Pastuchiv
     
 

When Gretchen, Jason, Mark, and Daphne find their favorite swimming hole filled with green slime, they are horrified. A mysterious, almost magical naturalist named Riparia helps the children understand why the water became polluted—and together they figure out what they can do to bring clean water back to the river they all love.

This lively story about

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Overview

When Gretchen, Jason, Mark, and Daphne find their favorite swimming hole filled with green slime, they are horrified. A mysterious, almost magical naturalist named Riparia helps the children understand why the water became polluted—and together they figure out what they can do to bring clean water back to the river they all love.

This lively story about non-point source pollution is filled with both information and action. Realistic, lush illustrations by Olga Pastuchiv illuminate the children's passion for their river and the ecosystem it supports.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
In an environmental story that's part cautionary tale, part call to action, Caduto (the Keepers of the Earth series) introduces four children who are puzzled when they discover their river swimming hole is filled with "green stuff" and "smells like a sewer." Walking upstream, they encounter Riparia, a wise woman who tells them her name means "of the riverbank," and cautions them not to swim, since the river "isn't well." She delivers an accessible ecology lesson, pointing out birches that shade the water to keep its temperature cool enough so fish and insects can thrive. However, she also reveals that chemicals and manure from a farmer's fields are polluting the water. When Riparia proffers a solution to protect the water, the kids galvanize the community to take action. Pastuchiv's (Minas and the Fish) earth-toned paintings are dappled with light; her human characters have a rough, sketchlike quality, particularly compared to the more precise portrayals of wildlife and lush vegetation. Ages 8�12. (July)
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
This science lesson wrapped inside a story and accented with soft watercolors will be a welcome addition to a primary grade unit on the environment and habitats. Four children are distressed over the algae infestation at their favorite swimming hole along a river's bank. Searching up river for a cleaner spot they meet the mysterious Riparia (Rye-PEAR-ee-ah) who tells the children the problem stems from a framer's run off of manure and fertilizers. Without a buffer, the river will continue to die. The children convince the farmer's daughter to talk to her dad who, it turns out, is willing to make changes if they do not cost too much and he has help with the work. In the weeks that follow the eager children and the farmer erect a barbed wire fence as a buffer and the farmer promises to plant his corn 100 feet from the river next spring. In time more people begin to help by planting vegetation that attracts more birds, insects, and wildlife. Two years later a pristine and thriving river is not only the perfect place to observe a variety of fauna but a great place to swim. Readers may find the story simplistic but they may be encouraged by the fact that even their small efforts, like the children's, can make a difference in helping the environment. The airy watercolors with their dappled light reflecting off the river give center stage to the flora and fauna of the river. Each is identified at the end of the book and readers can go back and look for the birds, insects, mammals, etc. that call the river home. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
Kirkus Reviews - Kirkus Reviews

Children organize to clean up an algae-slimed swimming hole.

A veteran environmental activist, Caduto presents a fictionalized case study in which four children, disgusted at the condition of their favorite pool, follow a mysterious woman named Riparia ("My name means 'of the riverbank,' " she explains) upstream to discover the pollution's causes. Runoff from a fertilized cornfield that goes right up to the river's bank is one, and cow manure is the other—the barbed-wire fence allows a herd of cows to wade into the river, where they do their business. Following Riparia's suggestions, the children persuade the farmer to let them move the field and fences back to set up a buffer zone, then enlist friends and neighbors to plant trees and wildflowers. Cut to two years later, and the pool is clean once again. The well-meaning text concentrates more on delivering message and information than telling a story, but Pastuchiv offers readers plenty to discover for themselves in her impressionistic paintings. Each river scene is generously populated with dozens of identifiable birds, insects and other wildlife—all listed at the end, though without a visual key.

Heavy on worthy message, light on specific method. (Picture book. 7-10)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780884483274
Publisher:
Tilbury House Publishers
Publication date:
04/01/2011
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

Dennis L. Nelson
The spirit of rivers comes alive—literally—in Michael J. Caduto's charming new children's book, Riparia's River. By gently teaching a small group of children about river systems and habitats, Riparia empowers the children to lead a community effort to restore an ecosystem badly out of balance. The combination of education, empowerment and action make the book ideal for inspiring readers to care about all water resources. (Dennis L. Nelson, President and CEO of the Project WET Foundation)

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