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River

By: Elisha Cooper

She is alone, far from home.
Three hundred miles stretch in front of her.
A faraway destination, a wild plan. And the question: can she do this?


In Cooper's flowing prose and stunning watercolor scenes, readers can follow along the trek as the woman and her canoe explore the wildlife, flora and fauna, and urban landscape at the river's edge. Through perilous weather and river rushes, the canoe and her captain survive and maneuver their way down the river back home.

Author’s note. Note on the Hudson River. Sources and reading. Endpaper map. Full-color illustrations.

ISBN: 9781338312263

JLG Release: Mar 2020


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Canoes and canoeing , Canoe camping , Journeys , Hudson River, New York and New Jersey

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Awards & Honors

Kirkus Best Books - 2019
Publishers Weekly Best Books - 2019
Horn Book Fanfare - 2019

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Kirkus Reviews*, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine*, School Library Journal*, Publishers Weekly*, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books*

School Library Journal

Cooper loves to take children on experiential journeys, which he did so expertly in titles such as Train, Farm, and Beach. This time the excursion is on a mighty river—the Hudson—and the conveyance is a canoe. The book opens with a woman—the solo traveler—waving goodbye to her family and setting off from the headwaters of the river in the A Cooper loves to take children on experiential journeys, which he did so expertly in titles such as Train, Farm, and Beach. This time the excursion is on a mighty river—the Hudson—and the conveyance is a canoe. The book opens with a woman—the solo traveler—waving goodbye to her family and setting off from the headwaters of the river in the Adironacks on a 300-mile trek to New York Harbor. Such an ambitious outing takes extensive training and careful planning, but this woman is up to the task and there’s no better way of appreciating the river ecosystem than this kind of up-close and intensely personal observation. Cooper captures it all in his gloriously expansive and fluid pencil and watercolor artwork in vignettes and full-bleed spreads. The woman’s days consist largely of “paddling, sketching, eating, camping, and paddling again.” She spots a variety of wildlife—moose, otters, mergansers, eagles, seals—crashes through a series of rapids, portages around a dam, and follows the locks at a waterfall. With each day’s progress downriver, the countryside shifts from farmland to villages and larger towns. The woman has to think fast, takes her lumps in a squall, and paddles on until she reaches the city, and reunites with her family. Beyond her bragging rights, she has exhilarating stories to share and fond memories to hold onto, until her next adventure. A marvelous vehicle for nature lovers, armchair travelers, and aspiring boaters and explorers.

Horn Book

A woman says goodbye to her family and begins a three-hundred-mile canoe jour¬ney down a river. “In her canoe: tent, sleeping bag, guidebook, map, life jacket, first-aid kit, waterproof duffle with food, clothes, water bottles, coffee pot, stove, lamp, book, pencils, a sketchbook.” (No cellphone.) She paddles alone through rapids, portages aro A woman says goodbye to her family and begins a three-hundred-mile canoe jour¬ney down a river. “In her canoe: tent, sleeping bag, guidebook, map, life jacket, first-aid kit, waterproof duffle with food, clothes, water bottles, coffee pot, stove, lamp, book, pencils, a sketchbook.” (No cellphone.) She paddles alone through rapids, portages around waterfalls, and sleeps outside every night, with Cooper’s watercolor and pencil sketches illuminating the details of the trip with a rhythmic mix of vignettes and wide landscapes. The present-tense text focuses on the jour-ney rather than the destination, with the second page asking, “Can she do this?” but otherwise choosing not to ask or answer any of the obvious questions that might spring to readers’ minds: Why is she making this journey alone? What river is she on? Nevertheless, some answers can be found in the illustrations, particularly endpapers showing maps of the Hudson River from its source at Henderson Lake in the Adirondacks to its mouth at New York City Harbor; we learn even more by comparing two similarly staged scenes of the woman’s entire family (placed before the title page and amidst the back matter). By the time she rejoins her family, we have become so absorbed in her experience that, much as she had done on the river, we now notice every detail. Back matter includes an author’s note (“I did not canoe down the Hudson River. I am not a capable enough canoer. Or a brave enough one”), a note about the Hudson, and a list of sources and further reading.

Book Details

ISBN

9781338312263

First Release

March 2020

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

E

Trim Size

11 1/2" x 10 1/2"

Page Count

48

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.2; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Orchard Books

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Canoes and canoeing, Canoe camping, Journeys, Hudson River, New York and New Jersey,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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Book Genres

Picture Book

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