My Groovy Fish poem challenge
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Song of the River by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Kimberley Andrews
Gecko Press, July 2019
Joy Cowley’s delightful story Song of the River was originally published 25 years ago but Gecko Press have published a new edition with gorgeous artwork by Kimberley Andrews.
Reading Joy’s story filled me with a warm hum that I carried with me all day.
Cam lives in the mountains and he tells his grandfather he wishes he could see the sea. One day a trickle of water – running through the trees and the snow – calls out to the boy:
‘Come with me. Come with me. I will take you to the sea.’
Joy writes like a poet as she tells her story; the words ripple and chatter over the stones of its telling. I am carried along by the voice of the water. I am enchanted by the sound as the water moves down the mountain. First it sounds like snow, then like a creek, then like a waterfall, and then like leaping trout. On and on it goes with Cam running along, the view changing, the river sounds changing, and always there is the pull of the sea.
Cam might wonder what the sea looks like but what will it sound like? You will find out!
This a story about a boy wanting to see the sea. It is about imagining. It is about beginnings and endings. It is about paying attention with ears and eyes. And it is absolute treat to read – you might fill with a warm hum too.
Reading the book made me want to write a poem!
Kimberley’s illustrations fill the landscapes with life and mood. She is a trained biologist who grew up in the Canadian Rockies and now lives in a shipping container tiny house in Wellington. In 2018 she illustrated Explore Aotearoa (shortlisted for NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults). She also wrote and illustrated Puffin the Architect published last year.
Joy Cowley is one of our most beloved children’s authors. She has won many awards and honours including the Prime Minister’s Award for Contribution to Literature (Fiction). In 2018 she was shortlisted for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.