Along the River written and illustrated by Vanina Starkoff

71d0nskhblAlong the River written and illustrated by Vanina Starkoff, translated by Jane Springer; Groundwood Press, (9781554989775), 2017.

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Picture book

Rating: (1-5, 5 is a starred review) 2

What did you like about the book? The colors leap off the pages of this simple book depicting the vibrant life of the people who live on and along the river. The horizontal orientation of the layout perfectly mirrors the feeling of floating down a river. Hope and joy trip over themselves in the pictures, featuring boats with names like  “Beautiful Smile”, signs that say “Let’s live our dreams”, and people sharing, singing and making music. Everything is peaceful, happy and serene.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Although it is unclear where this river is located, the author is originally from Argentina and now lives in Brazil so presumably she based her illustrations on the people living in these countries. While perhaps the illustrations of the people can be forgiven as stylized, I found them to be offensive caricatures.

To whom would you recommend this book? /Who should buy this book? Public libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Nancy Riemer Kellner, Peaslee Elementary School Library, Northborough, MA

Date of review: 2/12/2017

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