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THE SECRET RIVER by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Kirkus Star

THE SECRET RIVER

By Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (Author) , Diane Dillon (Illustrator) , Leo Dillon (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: Jan. 4th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4169-1179-1
Publisher: Atheneum

There are no fish left in the rivers and streams; hard times have come to the forest, and everyone is poor and hungry. Calpurnia is determined to find fish for her father to sell in his shop. Mother Albirtha, the wisewoman, advises her to follow her nose to a secret river teeming with fish. She finds this amazing river and politely asks the fishes’ permission to catch some of them. On her long journey home she shares her catch with several animals and, of course, Mother Albirtha. Father sells the fish for promises of payment, which are all fulfilled, and soft times come to the entire community. In this reworking of a classic tale, Rawlings’ voice is warm and tender, employing lilting syntax and descriptive language that resonates with warmth and humor. Calpurnia is a sweet delight, at once poet and adventuress, whimsical and practical, filled with love and compassion. The Dillons’ glorious, glowing earth-toned acrylic illustrations capture Calpurnia’s spirit and soul and imbue the tale with images that are nothing short of breathtaking. Magical. (Picture book. 4-10)