cover image Today I Am a River

Today I Am a River

Kate Coombs, illus. by Anna Emilia Laitinen. Sounds True, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-68364-982-3

Positing that “I can be anything/ everything,” meditative first-person lines offer readers a chance to experience nature through the lens of varied subjects—from wind and rain to a snake and a spider. “Heart happy,/ bright/ as a yellow bird,” describes a poem titled “Sunlight,” while rain is “a skydiver” and a snake is “a paintbrush/ in a summer field.” Throughout, Coombs deploys techniques including alliteration, rhyme, and more for an effect that’s simultaneously contemplative and declarative. Laitinen’s retro-style artwork shows a cast of children, depicted with varied skin tones, frolicking across the seasons and luxuriating in calm surroundings. (Even the wind, described as sometimes raging, produces only smile-inducing bluster.) It’s an incantatory portrait of oneness with nature, and a tribute to mindful awareness. An end note suggests ways to use the book for embodied learning. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)