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Sunday, July 9, 2017

A River, by Marc Martin. Chronicle Books, Raincoast. 2017.$24.99 ages 4 and up

"Sometimes I imagine
myself floating along the
river, swept away in s silver
boat toward the horizon.
Where will it take me?
I goes through the city,
under bridges and past the
speeding cars that zoom by
in an endless stream ... "

What a journey of imagination this book provides for all readers! The child narrator sits at a bedroom window, attention captured by the river in view. As she watches it meander slowly past, she draws her own ideas for what she believes happens as it moves beyond where she can see.

Each new spread is a flight of fancy, as she thinks of the sights she might see. In a silver boat, with her eyes to the horizon, she passes busy city streets and roads. Once past the bridges and urban traffic, she makes her way into an industrial area where factories belch black smoke and pour waste into the once clean waters. Her journey is long and varied. Eventually, she wends her way to the ocean where she enjoys the smells, the sights, and the stormy conditions that bring her back to the reality of rain on her window.

Reverie ended, but not before readers are privy to the beauty of these various spaces through Marc Martin's mixed media illustrations and his eye for detail. From urban to rural, from quiet countryside to jungle abundance, he makes this imaginative journey a feast for the eyes. Much time will be spent returning to the book's vibrant spreads in an attempt to find all that he has included. Readers will want to reach out and touch the glorious textured scenes presented to them.

What a wondrous way to show little ones the world that exists around us!

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