RIVER OF LIFE by Debbie S. Miller


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Age Range: 5 - 8
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This portrait of life along an Alaskan river is marked by the observations of a child who notes the changes of its plants and animals as the seasons go forward. Miller and Van Zyle (Disappearing Lake, 1996) take readers far into the northern wilderness, where rivers run clean, kingfishers snap salmon from the water's surface, and hungry eagles, bears and otters come to the river to feed. Following the calendar year, spring brings melting river ice, summer awakens dragonflies, cascades of golden aspen leaves welcome fall, and curtains of snowflakes announce winter's return. Van Zyle's paintings are full of fresh air and the clean cold light of the north. Double-paged spreads on long rectangular pages give the sense of the sweep of landscape even when depicting the underground of a riverbank. Full-bleed oils give the sense that more life is right off the edges of the page. This book is similar in format to Wadsworth's Tundra Discoveries (1999), which chronicles the yearly cycle of nature in a slightly different northern clime. An ecology lesson made beautifully simple. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 20th, 2000
ISBN: 0-395-96790-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2000


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