I Know the River Loves Me/ Yo sé que el río me ama
This book reviews is part of a series created in honor of National Picture Book Month. Some are new and some are not, but all of them are a visual feast - and the storylines aren't so bad either! Today's title comes from Children's Book Press, an imprint of Lee & Low Books...
Written and illustrated by award-winning artist, Maya Christina Gonzalez, I Know the River Loves Me/Yo sé que el río me ama embodies the need that children everywhere have to see their own faces reflected in the world around them.
I had the pleasure of hearing Ms. Gonzalez talk at a conference several years ago, where she shared bits of her childhood and discussed how she never saw her own face in literature or Disney movies. Now as an adult, she has dedicated her time to creating pieces that show the beauty in diversity, and that reflect the faces of the audience for which they are written and illustrated.
I Know the River Loves Me her second book that she has both written and illustrated. The story line is so beautiful and strong with powerful imagery. It is about a young girl who walks down to meet one of her best friends - the river. In the flowing water, she finds acceptance, joy, and a reflection of herself. If only every child could find this perfect friend who loves unconditionally and mirrors their inner beauty!
The illustrations are wonderful mix of black-and-white and vibrant color. Throughout most of the book, only Nature is drawn in full vibrant hues, but both the speaker and her backpack full of manmade objects are drawn obviously lacking in color. I love the flowing movement of the water and how the girl's hair drifts softly in its current.
This book makes my kids want to run and jump in a river. And me, too, for that matter.
This book is perfect for parents and teachers who want to discuss with their children or students the following topics: inner beauty, interconnectedness, nature, self-esteem, and finding time to love ourselves.
Written with full text in both English and Spanish. Best for children ages 6 and up.
If you'd like to purchase your own copy of The River Loves Me/Yo sé que el río me ama, please visit the Latin Baby Book Club's online store. We have both new and gently used copies available.