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WHITE WATER by Jonathan London


by Jonathan London & Aaron London & illustrated by Jill Kastner

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-670-89286-6
Publisher: Viking

On the banks of the Green River in Desolation Canyon, Utah, father and son prepare for a weeklong white-water rafting adventure. As a first-timer, the boy is a bit wary of the experience. His exuberant dad inadvertently initiates nervous anticipation regarding the adverse possibilities of man meeting nature on nature’s home turf. Reassuring his son that it’ll be fun, he also advises that by the end of the journey he will learn to read the river, realizing the differences between safe and dangerous spots. After drifting along for awhile, they hear a roar and the call goes out— “white water!” Suddenly they’re smashing and crashing through rapids with snowmelt-cold water rushing everywhere, breathless and with hearts pounding with fear and exhilaration. Around the next bend they narrowly avoid ragged rocks, get sucked into a swirling whirlpool and nearly swallowed by the raging river, until finally, they desperately pull together and free themselves from the jaws of danger. Tingling with excitement and feeling so alive, father and son savor the balance between the action of the rapids with peaceful moments, appreciating the beauty of the surrounding sights. After a week of camping out under the brilliant stars, singing around the campfire, rowing together, and meeting the challenge of the white water, the two share a special bond. In the end the boy realizes, “I had learned to read the river, and I like what I read.” Kastner depicts the action-packed adventure of white-water rafting splendidly, with her earthy oil paintings filled with color and life. (Picture book. 3-8)