River Stories


River Stories is a beautiful book. Timothy Knapman introduces a number of the world’s great rivers- the Mississippi, Amazon, Yangtze, Nile and Rhine. Each river has its own pull out, four pages documenting the river’s history, source, timeline, anecdotes, journey, major features and landmarks. Furthermore, we learn stories associated with the river.

For example, we read of how Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm travelled the forests of the Rhine, collecting traditional tales. In the same river section, we read of the tribes who lived in forests east of the Rhine. These tribes fled the ‘fearsome Huns‘ and moved into Roman territory. This movement led to the Gallic revolt that eventually led to ‘the beginning of the fall of the Roman Empire‘.

Did you know that waterskiing was invented by an 18-year old on the Mississippi who strapped two pine planks to his feet?  Maybe you know of an annual tidal bore that sends 800 kilometres of water along the Amazon from the Atlantic? Piranhas, alligators and uprooted trees are caught in this enormous wave!

Thick matte pages,  imaginatively shaped chapters laden with rich information and absorbing facts, illustrated in such sympathetic colours, result in a glorious book. Bookwagon is proud to present and recommend, ‘River Stories’ 


River Stories

Timothy Knapman

Ashling Lindsay & Irene Montano

(Red Shed)

‘River Stories‘ evolve over time and distance. They are the legends ‘that were spoken’- ‘and the stories that were spun’. Timothy Knapman shares stories about the world’s great rivers:- The Yangtze, the Nile, Amazon, Rhine and Mississippi. We learn about each river’s geography, alongside learning its history, wildlife, timeline, landmarks and developments.

The drama of each river is heightened by the shape of each book. Ashling Lindsay and Irene Montano have created river-tonal pictures, which open out, so that it seems like the river is winding through the pages.

Thereafter, the writer includes factual anecdotes. In the Nile, for example, we learn of a famous exploration led by a local Egyptian guide, Sidi, who took a partially blind explorer, John Hanning Speke to discover the source of the river. Meanwhile in the stories from the Yangtze, the writer tells the legend of the Green Dragon,. When the exhausted Green Dragon did not get up after extinguishing the fire dragons, he became the Yangtze.  In the 1440’s Johannes Guttenburg created the printing press on the Rhine; ‘before long, books were traded up and down the river, trading stories and ideas’. 

This is a monumental book with clear pride in its construction, imagination and quality. Furthermore, this follows Song of the River where we travel the route of a river, to The Rhythm of the Rain which tracks the water cycle. ‘River Stories’ is a beautiful book for home or school.



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