THE BIG RIVERS by Bruce Hiscock


The Missouri, the Mississippi, and the Ohio
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 10
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 In 1993, the big rivers of the subtitle flooded huge areas of the Midwest. While small floods are an annual occurrence, ``a few times each century,'' flooding is extensive. Hiscock (The Big Storm, 1993, etc.) traveled the rivers at the height of the flooding in 1993, taking photographs, making sketches, and helping fill sandbags to keep the water back. He reports in an afterword, ``Being there is quite different from watching the flood on TV. . . . The power of the river is so apparent that when a levee fails it is accepted with a kind of quiet reverence.'' This reverence is reflected in the soft watercolor paintings of rising waters and flooded homes and fields--even in sketches of people cleaning up the mess afterward. The tone is calm and the prose is lyrical, but also informative, making brief reference to the problem of river management. This title is visually appealing and presents a surprisingly serene perspective; it might be paired with more critical accounts-- e.g., Patricia Lauber's Flood (1996)--that focus more on the underlying causes of the flooding. (map, diagrams) (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-689-80871-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1997


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