River

Overview

From its source high in the mountains of Peru, the powerful, multifaceted Amazon River descends to the Atlantic Ocean, influencing the environnment far beyond the rain forest through which it flows. "A thoughtful and beautiful introduction, sure to inspire curiosity." -- Kirkus Reviews

Describes the multifaceted Amazon River and the life it supports in its rain forests.

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Overview

From its source high in the mountains of Peru, the powerful, multifaceted Amazon River descends to the Atlantic Ocean, influencing the environnment far beyond the rain forest through which it flows. "A thoughtful and beautiful introduction, sure to inspire curiosity." -- Kirkus Reviews

Describes the multifaceted Amazon River and the life it supports in its rain forests.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gilliland's praise song to the Amazon, ``the mightiest river in the world,'' exemplifies the best sort of educational writing: filled with facts and scientific information, the narrative only implies its lessons, impressing the reader primarily with its lyricism and sense of place. The author describes how the 4000-mile-long giant begins as a ``cold trickle no wider than a baby's foot,'' gathers into thundering waterfalls and then spreads wide and deep through less mountainous land. Her story of the Amazon includes the environment it creates--forests ``so damp and so wet / that the trees themselves rain.'' The text teems with the names of flora and fauna, with the sounds of events large (``BOOM / the fruit of the Cannon Ball tree / crashes to the ground'') and small ( Tffffffffft, a bird is caught in a giant spiderweb''). Powzyk, a conservationist who is earning a doctorate in biology, shares Gilliland's understated approach. Using a subdued palette, she communicates the exotic by emphasizing texture and light. A powerful, poetic introduction. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-In just a few sentences per page, this picture book evokes the sights, sounds, and atmosphere of the Amazon. A map on the first page charts the river and its tributaries, although the countries through which it flows are not labeled. A brief note beside the map provides information in small print and sophisticated language. Then Gilliland follows the river, from its birthplace in the mountains (``...a cold trickle no wider than a baby's foot''), down into the jungle with its wealth of animals and plants. Her simple, descriptive lines at times take on a haikulike resonance. Powzyk's watercolor illustrations, predominantly done in greens and tans, complement the text, and reinforce the feeling of the rainforest's dampness and mystery. Other books for young readers on this area focus on facts about deforestation. Gilliland has chosen instead to convey a sense of the place itself, including only a hint-``People need it, but they destroy it''-about its endangered status. Some explanation will be necessary to help children make sense of that statement, but discussing it will enrich the shared reading experience between adults and children.-Ruth S. Vose, San Francisco Public Library
Julie Corsaro
Despite the title, this beautifully illustrated book places greater emphasis on the Amazon rain forest than on the mighty river. Beginning at the river's mountain source, and with a simple description of the water cycle, the text goes on to quietly introduce the great variety of wildlife that lives in the water and basin area, on the dark jungle floor, and high up in the dense trees. Gilliland concludes with an attempt to convey the mystery of the jungle, which is, unfortunately, contradictory and confusing ("It is strong, but it is fragile. It is famous, but no one knows it . . ."). Rendered in soft greens and browns, the luminous watercolor landscapes by nature illustrator Powzyk have a strong Asian feeling.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395559635
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/20/1993
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.06 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 0.34 (d)

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