A lovely homage to nature.

Kirkus Reviews

Song of the River


Song of the River is a quintessential Joy Cowley story where Cam follows the river’s journey from its source in the mountains all the way to the sea

Illustrated by Kimberly Andrews

Available as an ebook wherever you buy your ebooks


  • Description

    In this resonant story from Joy Cowley, Cam the mountain boy follows the river from its trickling source in the snow all the way to the sea. The river leads him through forest, farms and towns to the salty wind of the sea. Illustrated by Kimberly Andrews, the dramatic landscapes are packed with detail to discover in the world of the river.


    Read a Q&A with Kimberly here.

  • Book Details

    Country of Origin New Zealand
    Reader Age 2-5 year, 5-7 year
    Book Size

  • Reviews

    1. Sal’s Fiction Addiction

      Joy Cowley is a New Zealand treasure…[this story] about the beauty to be found in nature is poetic, and filled with lovely descriptive language that continues to entice and encourage young readers. New illustrations by Kimberly Andrews include gorgeous natural landscapes that change often throughout this wondrous journey, allowing readers to follow along as Cam finds his way to the sea he has so longed to see.

    2. The Source

      A new edition of a classic has been re-created for a new generation.

    3. Magpies Magazine (AUS)

      It’s exuberant and joyful, reflected in the warm and textured illustrations which capture the natural environment and the movement of the water. An absolute treasure and brilliant read-aloud.

    4. Publishers Weekly

      With graceful, rhyming poetry, Cowley articulates the connectedness of nature, while Andrews renders the rush and earnestness of the boy’s journey through striated light, city smoke, and the broad, blue sea.

    5. AKO

      This book is ripe with teaching potential but also a pure pleasure to read, in both language and image.

    6. School Library Journal

      A perfect choice for young naturalists and budding scientists interested in the water cycle.

    7. Parents in Touch

      The dramatic illustrations by Kimberly Andrews are packed with detail, encouraging readers to explore the world of the river and the land surrounding it.

    8. Lancashire Post

      Cowley’s beautiful, melodic story – brimming with atmosphere and descriptive power – is exquisitely brought to life by illustrator Kimberly Andrews’ dramatic evocation of a wonderfully contrasting North American landscape full of rich detail and muted, earth-toned colours.

    9. North Scotland Newspapers

      We are treated to great vistas and detailed close-ups throughout the course of the day (perfectly pitched by the artist Kimberly Andrews) and Joy Cowley’s text is playfully poetic, climaxing with the dreamy journey-ending song of the sea, with a bonus point for what must be one of the most beautiful final lines ever gifted to a picture book. It took my breath away.

    10. Red Reading Hub

      An awe-inspiring tribute to the natural world and to storytelling itself.

    11. Kirkus Reviews

      Cowley neatly modulates Cam’s adventure, sentences that build and accrete like that rivulet taking readers on the journey. A lovely homage to nature.

    12. NZ Book Lovers

      Andrews perfectly captures the gentleness of the story, with muted, natural colourings and strong detail.

    13. Poetry Box

      This a story about a boy wanting to see the sea. It is about imagining. It is about beginnings and endings. It is about paying attention with ears and eyes. And it is absolute treat to read – you might fill with a warm hum too.

    14. Book Trailers 4 Kids and YA

      Beautifully written, with earthy coloured illustrations, this book provides the story of many rivers and their journey to the sea.

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