The Waterfall's Gift

Overview

The insistent voice of the waterfall rings through the old north woods, beckoning a listening child back to the secret place she once shared with her grandfather. Its call mingles with the lively sounds of the forest--the birds and rustling leaves--in a reassuring blend of past and present, then and now.

In this lyrical tale, the young narrator visits the cabin that her Grandpa built and rediscovers the familiar woodland haunts they used to explore together. Now that Grandpa's ...

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Overview

The insistent voice of the waterfall rings through the old north woods, beckoning a listening child back to the secret place she once shared with her grandfather. Its call mingles with the lively sounds of the forest--the birds and rustling leaves--in a reassuring blend of past and present, then and now.

In this lyrical tale, the young narrator visits the cabin that her Grandpa built and rediscovers the familiar woodland haunts they used to explore together. Now that Grandpa's gone, she wanders alone yet feels a comforting sense of oneness with the forest. There are berries to taste and smooth stones to skip across the water. And best of all, there's a surprise waiting for her in Grandpa's special pool at the foot of the waterfall.

Adults and children alike will be captivated by this tender tale of loss and renewal amidst a natural setting that's as alive and appealing as the characters who move within it. Richard Jesse Watson's remarkable illustrations, with their rich, earthy colors and enchanting details, capture both the mystery and magic of the woodland setting and the quiet drama of the narrator's adventure.

On a visit to the old north woods, a girl enjoys the many natural treasures hidden in its deepest places.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A young girl eagerly returns to the family cabin in the north woods. She joyfully explores the familiar forest, with the juicy berries, the chirping birds, and above all, her waterfall. It was her grandfather's special place, and now that he is gone it is full of memories, along with the wonder of a visiting otter. Then it is the call of home she hears, with the promise of a summer filled with more wonders to explore ahead. Watson turns each double-page painting into emotion-filled visual verse. Every inch displays some bit of nature's handicraft—weathered pebbles, a butterfly, wild raspberries, forest creatures, gnarled tree roots, splashing brook; even the cottage with blooming flower boxes and budding foxglove seems to be part of the glory of nature. As our narrator lies in the lush meadow watching the clouds, we are reminded of what we must try to preserve. 2001, Sierra Club Books for Children/Gibbs Smith, $15.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-A barefoot girl clad in rolled-up overalls takes readers on an exquisite journey to a special place: a waterfall deep in the north woods near her grandmother's house. On the way, she dips her feet in the frigid water, picks berries, and chirps with a bird. When her destination is in sight, a vertical illustration forces readers to pause, linger, and contemplate the natural wonder felt by the child who adores it. Once the young narrator finds the perfect rock for sitting, just as her grandfather had taught her, she holds her face to the sun and remembers him. There, she is visited by a familiar friend, an otter. Back home, she joins her grandmother in admiring the clouds and sky above. There is much more here than a simple tale of a girl communing with the outdoors. There is the awakening of all five senses, a remembering of deceased loved ones, a connection to the past, and a hope for the future. The poetic language sets the perfect pace for this story about discovery and solitude while Watson's detailed egg tempera illustrations add the final layer to this beautifully crafted book.-Holly T. Sneeringer, St. Mark School, Baltimore, MD Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
In The Waterfall's Gift, when young girl visits to the cabin that her grandfather built, she re-discovers the familiar woodland haunts she and her Grandpa was visited together. But Grandpa is gone now and as she wanders through the forest she feels a comforting sense of oneness. Joanne Ryder's superbly engaging story of loss and renewal amidst a natural setting is richly enhanced with the museum quality paintings of Richard Jesse Watson. The Waterfall's Gift is very highly recommended for all young readers, but most especially for those children struggling to deal with personal and family loss in the lives. Every school and community library in the country should have The Waterfall's Gift available in their collections of picturebooks for young readers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871565792
  • Publisher: Sierra Club Books for Children
  • Publication date: 4/1/2001
  • Series: Books for Children Series
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 690L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.04 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Jess Watson has illustrated several distinguished children's books, including Tom Thumb, a Booklist Editor's Choice, and One Wintry Night, by Ruth Bell Graham, which won the C.S. Lewis Gold Medal in 1995. he lives in Hollywood, California.

Joanne Ryder has written more than fifty books for children in which she blends poerty and science as she explores the natural world. She is a recipient of many awards, including the American Nature Study Society's Eva Gordon Award for Children's Science Literature. She lives in Pacific Grove, California, with her husband, author Laurence Yep.

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Read an Excerpt

When my Grandpa was young, he built a small cabin in the woods. Whenever I think of him, he's there walking under the tall trees, gently turning over logs and leaves to see what's hidden underneath.

"The old north woods hides treasure in its deepest places, he always told me.

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