Books Picture Books Reading Themes Universal Republic of Childhood

The Flow of “A River” Outside One’s Window in Marc Martin’s Visually Stunning Picturebook

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Myra here.

For my Monday reading earlier this week, I shared the beauty of the sunrise and the wilds of nature in picturebooks “Soon” and “Pongo.” I thought I might as well follow it through with this visually stunning picturebook by award-winning artist Marc Martin.

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A River

Written and Illustrated byMarc Martin
Published by: Templar Publishing, 2016 ISBN13: 9780670077441
Book borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me. 

There are a few books that do not really require any specific setting. While one can make certain educated deductions as to where such a place could possibly exist in the world, I prefer to think that something like this could also live in the space of a reader’s imagination.

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As the reader moves closer to this ribbon of water, the frame is gradually removed, and one swims into the pages as the images show an interweaving of the urban landscape and the serpentine river (see below):

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This is a gentle picturebook that undulates with rhythmic, almost hypnotic words and art that will make even the most jaded reader gasp with so much delight:

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To complement the photos here, I am sharing a few of my own pictures taken while we were in Maldives a few months back. They are technically photographs of the Indian sea, not a river, but they still manage to capture the exquisite beauty of nature. These were taken while we were on a sunset/dolphin cruise.

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Do you see the dolphin’s tail peeking out?

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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