What Is a River?

WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED BY MONIKA VAICENAVIČIENĖ  •  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN SWEDISH BY OPAL 2019

Rivers have many powers: they carry sediments and sentiments, revive lands and minds, connect places and times. They are sources of life and of conflict; paths of stories travelling the Earth. Their flow continually reminds us – we all live downstream, or upstream, from someone, we are all neighbours.

“What Is a River?” is a picture book is about rivers and the plentiful connections they have with us, humans. It follows a child and her grandma as they look for answers to a question – what is a river? In their imaginary expedition, they discover rivers flowing in the sky and living organisms; meet pilgrims and conquistadores, magical shape-shifting river dolphins and older-than-dinosaurs species of sturgeons; fish and bathe; and explore many other things.

Drawing on geographical, historical, mythological references, and personal observations, the book brings together both factually accurate and poetic storytelling to create a story of interconnectedness and wonder.

AWARDS

Nominated - Children's Book of The Year in Lithuania 2020
Premio Andersen 2020 - Miglior libro di divulgazione
International Work Award - The Dapeng Nature Children's Book Award 2020
Nominated - Prix Sorcières 2020 - Carrément Sorcières, Non fiction
The Best Non-fiction Book of the Year 2019 - The Awards of the Lithuanian Section of IBBY 2020
The Most Beautiful Book of the Year 2019 - The Awards of the Lithuanian Section of IBBY 2020
Merit - 3x3 Professional Show No.16 2019
Overall & Children's Book Category New Talent Winner - World Illustration Awards 2018
Publisher's Choice Award - Shanghai International Children's Book Fair 2018
Illustrators' Exhibition of Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2018
Ilustrarte Children's Book Illustration Biennial 2018
100 Outstanding Picturebooks - dPICTUS - 2018, 2019 & 2020
Illustration from What Is a River?

"A book that can create a bedtime reverie and be used for nature study is a lovely find… richly multifaceted title that school and public librarians will do well to booktalk."

- BOOKLIST, STARRED REVIEW

"Pencil and mixed-media vignettes have a childlike feel that is elaborated in intricate detail. Readers come away with a sense of the wealth and strength of rivers through Vaicenavičienė’s story, which twists and wanders like a river itself."

- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Illustration from What Is a River?
Illustration from What Is a River?

"A broad and holistic approach that seamlessly weaves together geographical, sociological, historical, scientific, religious, industrial, and environmental information, concepts, and observations…A beautiful, thoughtful, and thought-provoking book."

- KIRKUS, STARRED REVIEW
Illustration from What Is a River?
 FOR BOOK PUBLISHING RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT OPAL IN SWEDEN.