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

Wednesday 4 September 2019

Review: Rivers: A Visual History from River to Sea

From the author of Timeline comes this remarkable in every way book.  

Full of maps and endless sources of information on the pathways of rivers, it showcases the living things that exist below the water of which we are unaware, and those that live above that depend on these rivers for life. 

The rivers, oceans and seas from Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa Oceania, and Antarctica, compete with one another on the amount of history they offer up.

It begins with the five oceans – Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Southern. 

It then moves on to the seas of Europe, the Thames in the United Kingdom, Elbe that flows off the North Sea through Germany and into Poland, and where many historical events occurred. These are all presented in detail.

As we follow the Baltic Sea we discover the breeding places of birds, learn about Saint Petersburg and its 2000 libraries and 200 museums, and the Russian Desman, a type of mole that lives in a riverbank hole and its habits amongst countless other facts.

Myths and fables are connected to the rivers and areas joining them. The snippets of historical information inserted strategically tickle the taste buds and make you want to find out more about the events that are touched upon.

Fully illustrated in stunning images to complement the text, and designed in a most delightful fashion, each coloured page is a smorgasbord of art, curving groups of words, and historical and geographical facts and figures. It touches on the past and the present, and informs and educates on the natural world and all its amazing mysteries. It talks about migration, how land was cultivated, modes of travel, and house styles, discovery and exploration. It’s like a miniature resource book, encyclopaedic fact finder and atlas all in one.

This is one of the most beautiful and useful books I have come across. Larger than the usual sized picture book, it is justifiably so to be able to encompass the flow and direction of the world’s waterways.

Title: Rivers: A Visual History from River to Sea
Author/Illustrator: Peter Goes
Publisher: Gecko Press, $35.99
Publication Date: October 2018
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978177657216852999
For ages: 7 - 12
Type: Junior Non-Fiction