GREAT RIVERS OF THE WORLD
By: Volker Mehnert
Illustrated by: Martin Haake
Published: March 23, 2021
Publisher: Prestel Junior
Take your child on the ultimate river cruise, exploring 18 rivers across the world. Each river is given a full-page spread with a full bio offering its length, location, and stops along the way. The pages then offer fact-bites and illustrations. Facts share history and people connected to the river. The illustrations show the cities along the way and commerce that results because of the river.
The illustrations show food, building, animals native to the area, and people in native dress. I loved reading about the Volga River. I remember learning about it in school and was so thrilled because the Volga River was in my backyard growing up…just not THIS one. But, I still was intrigued learning about this huge river that flows through Russia.
Of course, this book couldn’t be written without mentioning the Mighty Mississippi River that travels from Northern Minnesota to Southern Louisiana. This river wasn’t far from my home growing up and still isn’t far now. We travel across it a few times each year. I even chose to travel and sight-see along the Mississippi for my birthday last fall. It’s such a beautiful river. We took our kids to the start of the Mississippi in Lake Itasca, Minnesota when they were younger and they got to walk across the Mississippi which they thought was so fun.
The Nile, the world’s longest river and the most important river in Africa, actually needs a fold-out section featuring six pages. I also liked how the book focused on the main rivers, but the pages also show smaller rivers that lead into it.
This book teaches geographical and historical information as well the economic importance a river is to a community and a country. Note that it is an over-sized book and makes for perfect floor reading for older elementary kids.
Volker Mehnert travels as a freelance journalist, author, and travel writer. He has been exploring the world for decades. Though he hasn’t seen every river in this book yet, he has been to most of them. His favorite rivers are the Orinoco and the Lena, because to this day they flow wild and untamed through their respective continents.
Martin Haake lives in Berlin and has been working as a freelance illustrator for almost 20 years. He has worked for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Penguin Books, and Volkswagen. His illustrations have won many awards.