Atheneum Books for Young Readers: NY, 2011.
Author of The Yearling.
Text given a Newbery Honor in 1956.
A young girl sets out to find a secret river teeming with fish when her father says their neighbors are struggling due to a lack of the fish they rely on for their food and livelihood. She finds the river as she wanders through the forest. There is no way she would ever be able to find it again, though she tries. She catches an abundance of catfish, shares some with animals on her way home and with an elderly woman who gave her the idea, has plenty left for her family and her father to sell in his fish market. The girl Calpurnia is introduced as a poet. She creates poems as she goes along, and she experiences her day with a sense of wonderment and trust.
I like many of the illustrations just for themselves. There is so much texture: contrasting geometric shapes in the clothing, faces on the forest trees, lacy tree canopies, images used to build other images (ex. owls among the owl's feathers and fish make up some of the trees and grasses), and through much of the book the glorious line of catfish on the fishing pole. There is varied coloration, but the colors are muted, lending a feeling of awe and subtle mythical tone.
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