Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Debby Atwell
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Houghton Mifflin, 2004   ISBN: 978-0618439522

Once there was a river that was wide, clean and beautiful. Animals came to drink its water, fish swam in it. Then a person discovered the river and settled on the shores. More and more people arrived, some people displacing others. As time passed houses were built, roads were constructed, and factories grew up from the ground along the shore of the river. More and more people were using the waters of the river for travel, to run their machines, to drink, and to wash.

Finally there came a time when fish no longer lived in the river for it was too dirty. Too many creatures wanted to use the river and it was not able to meet all their needs. Thankfully there were people who saw what was happening to the river and they got together to protect it. It was time for recovery, for people to come together for the good of all.

This incredibly powerful little story with minimal text and na?f type art tells a story which is unfolding all over the world. It reminds us that we need to take care of our world and at times we have to repair it by making sacrifices and by working hard together to undo the damage that has already been done.