The River

( 2 )

Overview

Surprising, original, and gorgeous, The River is a book about the seasons and the different kinds of experiences and stories that each season brings. Consisting almost entirely of images, The River presents each of the four seasons as its own chapter and story. A few sentences at the start of each chapter set the stage and provide clues for following each story. Beginning in autumn and ending in summer, The River is about our connection to place, as well as about the connections between geography, setting, and ...

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Overview

Surprising, original, and gorgeous, The River is a book about the seasons and the different kinds of experiences and stories that each season brings. Consisting almost entirely of images, The River presents each of the four seasons as its own chapter and story. A few sentences at the start of each chapter set the stage and provide clues for following each story. Beginning in autumn and ending in summer, The River is about our connection to place, as well as about the connections between geography, setting, and the stories we tell. The River is also about the flow of time, which flows like the river, and carries us.

Alessandro Sanna and his work are renowned throughout Italy and this book, which will fascinate young and old alike, demonstrates why.

Born in 1975, Alessandro Sanna's work is well-known throughout Italy. He has earned wide recognition across Europe as an illustrator and author, and his work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review and the New Yorker. He is a prolific and popular creator of illustrated books for children and readers of all ages and has received many awards and had many exhibitions. He lives and works in Mantua, Italy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/03/2014
Italian illustrator Sanna paints hundreds of watercolors of the country's Po River, arranging the thin, wide panoramas on the pages like photos in an album. Wordless stories, one for each season, are prefaced by passages of lyrical prose. The first, Autumn, remembers a catastrophic flood. "The old-timers speak to me of the skin of the river," Sanna writes, "as if it were a sleeping animal that might awake at any moment." Using watercolor stain on wet paper for the dark clouds and a fine brush for those who stand vigil on the banks, Sanna follows a man on a bicycle who offers help up and down the river. After a night at home with his wife, the man returns to the rescue effort. When he reappears, this time in a boat, he discovers his house empty and half-submerged. The other three stories—the birth of a calf in the winter, a spring wedding, a summer encounter between an artist and an escaped tiger—offer compensatory joy. The myriad images of the Po in rain, sun, at dusk and dawn give readers a deeper sense of its allure. Ages 6–up. (Feb.)
From the Publisher

"Along the lines of Blexbolex's Seasons (2010), an immersive visual experience that richly rewards patient attention." — STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-01-22
An Italian illustrator makes his U.S. debut with an impressionistic record of an annual cycle along the Po River. In hundreds of long, narrow, quickly brushed watercolor panels stacked horizontally four per page, Sanna follows a four-season round. Nearly all of the paintings are landscape sections with reeds, stands of poplars or small silhouetted figures of local residents in the foregrounds and vivid, changeable skies blending into the misty river behind. Along with depictions of broad natural rhythms, each seasonal chapter contains several mininarratives—wordless, aside from a few allusive remarks at each section's opening. They range from preparations and responses to a flood in "Autumn" to a sagra (holy day) carnival in "Spring." In "Summer," a melodramatic physical encounter between a plein-air painter and an escaped tiger turns metaphorical at the end. Other visual bonbons for attentive viewers to catch include parallel falls of snowflakes in winter and flower petals in spring, the Nativity-like birth of a calf and even glimpses—twice!—of elephants. Along the lines of Blexbolex's Seasons (2010), an immersive visual experience that richly rewards patient attention. (afterword) (Picture book. 6-9, adult)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592701490
  • Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Pages: 110
  • Sales rank: 151,800
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Alessandro Sanna lives in Italy. He is a prolific, popular creator of illustrated books for children and readers of all ages.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 14, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Breath-taking Another heartwarming picture book from the Enchan

    Breath-taking

    Another heartwarming picture book from the Enchanted Lion... this time illustrated by Italian watercolor artist Alessandro Sanna. I was completely captivated by the images of biking through the stormy night skies, as they reminded me that despite the occasional cruelties like bad weather, life has beauty and endless qualities. The story is lovely and the paintings are inspirational. I am working on improving my watercolor technique with Zoltan Szabo Paints Landscapes: Advanced Techniques in Watercolor and think The River is a great look at similar techniques.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2014

    This is an amazing and beautiful book. Although it's technically

    This is an amazing and beautiful book. Although it's technically a 'children's' book one easily gets over that label once they open it to any page. It's basically a visual poem with watercolors on every page telling a different story for each season. And the stories are subtle but profound. Each image of each story slowly unwinds the tale. It's one of the few illustrated/ painted books that really tells the takes visually. Time itself moves on each page. I took the to work and everyone loved it. They kept taking out their phone to snap photos of it.

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