The Mighty River by Ginalina and Kelley Wills


Local musician and author!

Ginalina’s picture book celebrates a wide river’s birds, animals, insects, and plants.

In her debut children’s book, singer/songwriter Ginalina asks what can be seen along “The Mighty River, / wild and free.” Kids and adults enjoying the outdoors might spot “Three pintail ducks / paddling free. // A small black bear / just by the tree.” Other species mentioned include a black-crowned heron, bighorn sheep, and bracken ferns. (Although the river is unnamed, many of the listed creatures and plants suggest western Canada.) Written in a pleasing musical cadence of abcb rhyming quatrains, the book is well suited to reading aloud. The book imparts an air of serenity, peace, and joy in nature. It also gently teaches an environmental lesson by including river facts, space to draw and describe a river animal and scene, and ideas from kids about how to protect watercourses. Wills, an artist and graphic designer illustrating her debut book, provides stylized, well-composed pictures that are a real pleasure to look at. They recall 1930s linocut poster design both in composition and in the palette, limited to a few shades of blue and coral.

A happy marriage of text, art, and message that’s absolutely beautiful.