We were sent a copy of a new book “Down By The River” by Andrew Weiner, the lovely illustrations of April Chu. It’s a wonderful story of young Art’s first fly fishing trip. It blends family cohesion (mom and grandpa both take time telling stories and helping teach Art to fly fish), subtle contexts of fly fishing, and a gentle message of conservation. It’s certainly a children’s book for the fly fishing family to enjoy and connect through the off-season, but it’s also a book for non-fly fishing friends to share with their kids. It’s a simple, enjoyable read and we certainly enjoyed the artwork throughout. It’s a larger hard cover book that uses its two-page spreads generously, which no doubt will engage kids to the whole scenes and settings that on the water life brings. Inside cover artwork lines the pages with classic fly patterns, and once the story concludes, there’s additional writing about fly fishing, conservation, what anglers wear, etc.
If I were a youngster again, this is exactly the kind of book that I would have lost myself into, daydreaming of my days with my uncle Russ starting back when I was 5. Its large, hard cover and heavy paper weight likely would have withstood the abuse I would have given it through the years as I read it countless times. And I suspect that had I owned this book growing up my parents would have put it aside once I became a teenager and put back in my hands to read to my kids when the seasons of generations shifted. And that’s what I’d encourage you to do with this book. 🙂