Author: Roland Harvey
On The River is a delightful picture book with a target audience of 5-10yr olds about the Murray River. My audience was much younger than that and he couldn’t concentrate on the story but had a wonderful time checking out the pictures and seeing what we could see.
Written and illustrated by Roland Harvey, one of Australia’s best-loved illustrators, On The River is both educational and entertaining. The illustrations take up most of the page and with a young audience that is always a good thing. The pictures are vibrant and colourful with lots of hidden gems to search out on each page.
The Murray River is an essential element of life for many people across thousands of kilometres and the river boasts a fascinating ecosystem. The Murray is important to graziers, food growers, communities, flora and fauna and it’s a system that most of us probably take for granted. You don’t think too deeply about it, it’s just there and it always will be… but if we don’t look after these vitally important ecosystems they won’t always be there. The best way to start looking after them is to educate on their importance and if we educate the children that are set to inherit then we can ensure that they always know the importance.
The Murray is such a massive river, from it’s top to the Murray mouth, forming part of the NSW/Victorian border and steeped in glorious history.
Roland takes us on a journey as he travels from the top at the headwaters, through many a small riverside town, showing us what may be found and all the ways that the river is utilised, right on through to the Murray Mouth.
We see waterskiing, canoes, cricket, walking, fishing, paddle-steamers, windsurfers, houseboats and a glorious range of native animals. Roland briefly educates on the ecology, the history and the wildlife of the mighty Murray River. There is also a short note from the Murray to the Darling about how to look after river health.
The tone of the story is light and witty, with both text and pictures that will engage audiences of every age.
For those who are really into the history and learning all they can, the front and back inner covers are a mudmap with HEAPS of information. Exciting and important places, information and tidbits of interesting trivia. I really want to put some little snippets here but … I’m not going to.
On The River is an engaging and interesting look at the Murray River that is sure to entertain audiences young and old. I intend to read it with my other children tomorrow.
You can keep up to date with Roland Harvey over at RolandHarvey.com.au.