A father decides a river best captures his feelings for his young daughter. A gift of life and changing beauty, a river encompasses so much more than meets the eye. It is the swan gliding upon its surface in the morning, the craggy stone steps leading down to its bank, the puppy trotting alongside a jogger on the path beside it, the sailboat gently drifting, and the hammock, perfect for reading stories in, beneath the willows that drape overhead. The river is a gift of possibility and challenges, a gift that expresses all things for which there are no words.
Give Her the River is a lyrical reflection of a fathers love for his young daughter, and is sure to resonate with any father besotted with his little girl, and any little girl with with a besotted daddy.
"For everyone who wants to instill in a child a love of nature and an appreciation of the intangibles of life, Give Her The River is a gem. With pictures and words that are calm, sensitive and reassuring, parents and children will settle in for a good read together."
Dorie McCullough Lawson, daughter of David McCullough and author of Posterity: Letters of Great Americans to Their Children
The poem is set against beautiful illustrations of a river as it flows through a bucolic countryside. Through his words, the father wishes all the wonders of the world for his daughter and these thoughts are expressed in his comments about the river. It opens at dawn, which is also a parallel for the dawn of his daughters life, with beautiful swans gliding down the smooth water. The same wish would be for her life to be smooth and filled with the delight each new day brings. As the seasons transition so does the life of his daughter. We see the growth of blue wildflowers and the fully sprouted oak leaves in late spring and early summer. During the hot days of summer, father and daughter relax and enjoy reading and just spending time together. In the fall, the fiery orange leaves are a startling background for the image of a black Scottish terrier. That glowing autumn is followed by the frozen, snow covered ground, but a river that is still flowing. The year begins again and so does this child grow older. The father warm wishes are to share the last light of the evening and celebrate the arrival of baby ducks (new life) on this ever moving, ever flowing river of life. Wendell Minor brings all of the seasons and the delight that this young girl and her father take from their life together which is metaphorically symbolized by the river. While it is a picture book for younger children, older girls and women will recognize the message. Some men (Dads) are unable to express their real feelings in words, and this book may be a perfect way for them to show how much they really do care about their daughters.
REVIEWER: Marilyn Courtot
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