Song of the River


One day we will go there,’ responds grandfather to Cam’s wish to see the sea. They are mountain people, living amongst the peaks and valleys.

On a spring day, when Cam is playing, he watches a trickle of water run through the forest. It urges him, ‘Come with me. Come with me. I will take you to the sea.’ 

Cam follows the trickle of water to where it meets other trickles to form a creek. This creek ‘chatters’ and gathers into a waterfall, rushing toward a stream  of ‘reeds and ferns‘ and trout, before it flows as a river through the farms. The river becomes bigger, wider, deeper and travels ‘under bridges and alongside roads and railways tracks’. It is hearty and strong and industrious. It urges into an area of ‘factories and wharves… and cranes and tall ships and small ships and rusty barges and trusty tugboats’.

Does the ‘Song of the River’ carry Cam all the way to the sea? What of grandfather? This lyrical journey is rich with glorious, changing images and tones, fresh with impactful meaning. ‘Song of the River‘ is a proud, ‘forever’ picture book.

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Song of the River

Joy Cowley & Kimberly Andrews

(Gecko Press)

‘Come with me. Come with me. I will take you to the sea.’ Cam, the mountain boy longs to go to the sea. His grandfather promises to take him there. When playing on a spring morning, Cam hears the water splashing and singing, ‘Come with me. Come with me. I will take you to the sea.’ 
The trickle of water flows through the mountain toward the creek, chattering through the waterfall and beyond. Cam traces the water’s journey through season and landscape. At each stage there is something new to discover. It seems like the world is awakening to Cam; ‘ a thousand little fishes’ or ‘farms where ducks swim and cows drink and dogs bark.’ 
Kimberly Andrews’ matte, painterly, variably viewed pictures are almost panoramic. New Zealand’s Queen of children’s literature, Joy Cowley, surpasses herself with the lyricism of her text. Like Grahame Baker- Smith’s The Rhythm of the Rain, the reader learns alongside the journey. Bookwagon is proud to present ‘Song of the River’ 


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