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I Talk Like a River



by
Jordan Scott
illustrated by
Sydney Smith

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Holiday
Imprint
Neal Porter Books
ISBN
9780823445592

Awards and Honors
2021 Schneider Family Book Award for Best Young Children's Book
Publisher's Weekly Top 10 Best Picture Books of 2020
2021 Boston Globe-Horn Book Picture Book Award Winner
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$19.56   $16.30
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QTY
Out of stock

I wake up each morning with the sounds of words all around me.
And I can’t say them all…


When a boy who stutters feels isolated, alone, and incapable of communicating in the way he’d like, it takes a kindly father and a walk by the river to help him find his voice. Compassionate parents everywhere will instantly recognize a father’s ability to reconnect a child with the world around him.

Poet Jordan Scott writes movingly in this powerful and ultimately uplifting book, based on his own experience, and masterfully illustrated by Greenaway Medalist Sydney Smith. A book for any child who feels lost, lonely, or unable to fit in.Author’s note. Full-color illustrations were created with watercolor, ink, and gouache.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

40

Trim Size

10" x 9"

Dewey

F

AR

3.1: points 0.5

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Dec 2020

Book Genres

Picture Book

Topics

Stuttering. Words. Sounds. Schools. Fathers and sons. Rivers.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

In this lyrical and empowering picture book, Canadian poet Scott tells a story based on his own experiences as a boy who stuttered. In simple, evocative language, he captures the isolation, social devastation, and self-doubt of a child who feels incapable of communicating his thoughts and offers an affirming way to think about difference. As the boy’s dad picks him up from school one day and takes him for a walk by the river to de-stress and relax, the narrative goes beyond the calming solace found in the natural world to make a more profound comparison and connection. The man reassures his son that his speech is like a river. Using this imagery and language, the boy is able to think about his dysfluency in a new way, realizing that sometimes his speech is “bubbling, whirling, churning, and crashing”; sometimes calm and smooth, just like the ever-shifting waters of the river. Smith’s (Town Is by the Sea, rev. 3/17; Small in the City, rev. 11/19) verdant and light-infused paintings pack an emotional punch and provide the perfect complement to the poet’s words. The varied layouts and dazzling spreads keep the boy center stage and lovingly framed. An expressive double-page close-up of the boy’s face opens to a spectacularly effective gatefold of the child in the embrace of the river’s sparkling water (Smith captures the play of light on water like nobody else). I Talk like a River is not mere bibliotherapy; it is instead a meditation for all children on self-acceptance, finding one’s voice, and reconsidering what is labeled as normative. An important and unforgettable offering presented with natural beauty and grace. LUANN TOTH

Praise & Reviews

Horn Book

In this lyrical and empowering picture book, Canadian poet Scott tells a story based on his own experiences as a boy who stuttered. In simple, evocative language, he captures the isolation, social devastation, and self-doubt of a child who feels incapable of communicating his thoughts and offers an affirming way to think about difference. As the boy’s dad picks him up from school one day and takes him for a walk by the river to de-stress and relax, the narrative goes beyond the calming solace found in the natural world to make a more profound comparison and connection. The man reassures his son that his speech is like a river. Using this imagery and language, the boy is able to think about his dysfluency in a new way, realizing that sometimes his speech is “bubbling, whirling, churning, and crashing”; sometimes calm and smooth, just like the ever-shifting waters of the river. Smith’s (Town Is by the Sea, rev. 3/17; Small in the City, rev. 11/19) verdant and light-infused paintings pack an emotional punch and provide the perfect complement to the poet’s words. The varied layouts and dazzling spreads keep the boy center stage and lovingly framed. An expressive double-page close-up of the boy’s face opens to a spectacularly effective gatefold of the child in the embrace of the river’s sparkling water (Smith captures the play of light on water like nobody else). I Talk like a River is not mere bibliotherapy; it is instead a meditation for all children on self-acceptance, finding one’s voice, and reconsidering what is labeled as normative. An important and unforgettable offering presented with natural beauty and grace. LUANN TOTH

Grades 2-6
Character Building Elementary
For Grades 2-6

This category provides 12 books per year that offer positive messages and spark thoughtful discussions about such things as ethics, kindness, and loyalty.

12 books per Year
$195.60 per Year
Interests
Biographies,Diversity,Nonfiction,Positive Messages
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Grades 2-6
Character Building Elementary
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