Big Day on the River

For the love of books, old, is where we start.

While 17 years old isn’t old for a person, or even a book, I’m going to use “old” to refer to books that are too old to be considered comp titles. So if it’s over five years old you’re not going to find it on the “New” shelf at the library.

Big Day on the River is by Sarah Wilson and illustrated by Randy Cecil (who wrote and illustrated one of my favorite tug-a-parent’s-heartstrings book Duck).

It follows Willie as she tries to leave for a quiet ride down the river on a raft. She tries, but everyone wants to help her out and show their love with gifts until there’s no room to sit on the raft anymore.

There’s rollicking fun in the words and it rolls off the tongue and makes kids giggle.
”It’s a long-toed river out there. You’ll get hungry as a hound,” says Gramma Clemmie.

There are two aspects of this book that I found particularly appealing (aside from the fact that it’s plain fun).
1- Willie is polite. Even when things start getting ridiculous she smiles and says “thank you.” At the same time, she can still speak her mind and say what she wants. It’s an excellent example for kids.
2- This is a great companion book if you’re studying floating and sinking with preschoolers through 1st graders. Things can only float if they don’t displace too much water, so what happens if you keep adding weight on top of what’s floating? It would work well to read right before starting an experiment because it can get kids to ask questions and engage with the subject.

Big Day on the River earns five out of five stars.
Kids enjoyed it
Grownup enjoyed it
And it showed a STEM concept with humor

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