Children’s Book Review – A River by Marc Martin


I purchased this book.


  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hardcover
  • 32 Pages
  • Published March 25th, 2015 by Penguin Aus.
  • Type – Children’s Literature


From the publisher, “There is a river outside my window.

Where will it take me?

So begins an imaginary journey from the city to the sea. From factories to farmlands, freeways to the forest, each new landscape is explored through stunning illustrations and poetic text from this award-winning picture-book creator.”

My Thoughts

This is a quiet and contemplative book. Full of soft and colorful graphics that impart an air of wonderment from page to page. It follows the imagining of a child sitting at their drawing desk looking out their window at the world beyond them. Traveling from window to window is a long winding river. The child begins to imagine themselves aboard a small ship traveling the currents of the river place to place, all while they remain safe in the bosom of their home. The river journey is long and wild. It goes through cities, farms, factories, hills, and valleys. It travels over waterfalls and down into the neverending darkness of the ocean at night. Once the adventure is done, the child comes back to himself and is sitting back at their drawing table in the dark, the river always there snaking from window to the other having had a fantastic adventure indeed. 

Although this is a picture book, the beauty of it is that all of us, adult and children alike, have sat at a desk longly gazing out the window and wondering what journey is before them. The same can be true of planes, or oceans. Adventures abound even though we are stuck inside looking out the window. We can all relate to this brave heart in a child. 

This is a subtle and beautiful book worthy of your child’s attention or sitting on a shelf being admired by all. I highly recommend checking it out. 

About the Author

Marc Martin is an illustrator, artist and bookmaker based in Melbourne, Australia. His illustrations have been commissioned by clients such as Monocle, Wired, The Financial Review, GQ, Luxury Travel, Telstra, The Australian Open Tennis Championships, The Australian Centre for the Moving Image, and various publishers. 

He is the author and illustrator of A Forest (Penguin Random House, 2012), The CuriousExplorersIllustrated Guide to Exotic Animals A-Z (Penguin Random House, 2013), Max (Penguin Random House, 2014), A River (Penguin Random House, 2015), and LOTS (Penguin Random House, 2016).(


  1. Karley

    Awesome review! I love the art style of the book. I also love how you worded the second half of this. Thinking about the next journey before us can be such an adventure!
    Thanks for sharing!

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