Monday, April 22, 2013

RIVER SONG by Steve Van Zandt

Van Zandt, Steve. River Song. Illus. Katherine Zecca. Nevada City: Dawn Publications, 2007. ISBN: 978-1-58469-094-8, $9.95.

"Blurp-ah pa-shoosh rumbly pound / A white rapid river makes a wonderful sound..."—so goes the refrain of River Song with the Banana Slugs String Band. See, the book comes along with a CD, and after reading the book through once, and then twice, I thought sticking it in the player was the perfect solution—entertain the little one and get some work done. Not the case. Nope, she wanted me to sing along.

So, "blurp-ah pa-shoosh rumbly pound / A white rapid river makes a wonderful sound" as it travels from high in the mountains on the short days of Winter and down "steep canyon walls that echo with wren's call." Its song continues as it goes through glens, past a Summertime farm, and carries families in their water-tubes along. Finally,  "it rolls and it rolls right past me"...and into the sea. Upon reaching the sea, the water evaporates back up into the sky, and the water cycle begins again.

This is another fine example of the Dawn Publication's books that seek to share nature with children. And, as with the others, it succeeds. Part of what makes River Song so charming, though, is the accompanying CD of the Banana Slug String Band (you might check out additional materials and curricula at This is a great way to introduce the water cycle, draw attention to Earth Day, or just celebrate the wonder of our natural world.

Reviewed by Stephanie Ashley

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