'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 24 July 2016

Review: On the River

Roland Harvey is well known for his distinctly Australian books and artworks. On the River is no exception, as it takes readers on a journey from the headwaters of the Murray River to its mouth, over 2500 kilometres away.

This is a picture book for the whole family. The youngest readers will eagerly seek out Roland and his pelican friend in a 'Where's Wally?'-style hunt on each spread.

Slightly older kids will enjoy the fantastically detailed illustrations, the many fascinating facts, and the quirky humour that's evident on every page. (We all know about the Man from Snowy River, but what about the Gran from Snowy River? Nope, didn't think you'd heard of her!)

Adults too will have fun examining the illustrations and laughing quietly at such asides as the wine-hat — 'an interesting idea by New Zealanders Nick and Bec Payne [that] was abandoned for medical reasons'!

This is a wonderful way to learn about the mighty Murray. Roland Harvey has left no aspect of its vital role untouched — its importance to graziers, food growers, communities (for drinking and domestic water), for hydo power, for recreation, and the health of the environment. Each spread is jam-packed with information, but all conveyed in bite-size chunks that will easily find a home in young (and older) minds.

I left this book inspired to take a trip down the Murray. I suspect you will too.

Title: On the River
Author/Illustrator: Roland Harvey
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $24.99
Publication Date: July 2016
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781760112455
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book