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Rivers: Nature's Wondrous Waterways

Rivers: Nature's Wondrous Waterways

by David L. Harrison, Cheryl Nathan (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The story of the crucial role of rivers in everyday life begins with the early settlers, who always chose a lake or riverbank for a home site because the water provided resources for drinking, washing, farming, and transportation. A river's source lies high in the mountains where rain and snow collect and flow down the mountainsides, first as trickles and then as full grown streams, gathering dirt and rocks, carving out canyons, churning into rapids and waterfalls, spreading into networks of channels and marshes, and carrying away the debris and extra water that threaten Nature's balance. Human beings are the river's worst enemies, as their pollutions choke and poison the water. Fortunately, this can be reversed with careful cleanup, and we can preserve one of our most important resources. The simple, clearly written text is handsomely illustrated with richly colored, double-page spreads showing sweeping scenes such as a massive ocean liner, an icicle-festooned tree on a mountain slope, foaming cascades, winding waterways, a broad harbor, and city children collecting litter on the river bank. An author's note and reading list are included. Part of the "Earthworks" series. 2002, Boyds Mills Press,
— Patricia Dole
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-This book touches on many topics that are part of the elementary-grade science curriculum: the water cycle, food chains, ecology, farming, geology, and environmental awareness. The emphasis, of course, is on rivers, their natural formation, and their journeys from the tops of mountains to their mouths, where the fresh water meets the sea. In clear, poetic prose, Harrison describes the creation of a river and its importance to the ecological balance of our world. With an emphasis on environmentalism, the book ends with a positive point: "Nature depends on rivers. We depend on rivers. Rivers depend on us." Colorful, lively illustrations match the text on each double-page spread. Pair this book with Lynne Cherry's A River Ran Wild (Harcourt, 1992) for Earth Day celebrations or environmental studies.-Lynn Dye, Keheley Elementary School, Marietta, GA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Where do rivers come from? According to the author, "A river begins in the mountains where raindrops fall on high hills or drops drip from ice and snow or spill over banks of lakes and ponds." It is those drops that run down the mountain that form the rivers. He recounts how young rivers are full of energy, fast-moving, carrying dirt and small rocks and gouging out channels in the rocks, while old rivers spread out and meander, leaving behind islands and small lakes. Finally, rivers reach the sea or ocean. He explains how plants, animals, and people depend on the waterways and concludes with a plea for cleaning up and protecting the rivers from trash and pollution, and suggestions for further reading. The language is readable, often poetic. Nathan, who worked with Harrison on Caves: Mysteries Beneath Our Feet (not reviewed), offers stylized illustrations that are vividly colored and swept clean of distracting detail. They combine airbrush, watercolor, and crumbled paper or scratch art to add texture. Most striking are a double-paged spread of a black-and-white ocean liner slicing through a purple sea, and an aerial view of the intense green delta against the deep blue water of the ocean. Illustrations of people or animals are less successful, often stiff or fuzzy. An adequate introduction to the water cycle for early childhood. (Nonfiction. 6-8)

Product Details

Boyds Mills Press
Publication date:
Earthworks Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

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