Down by the River

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review

Originally published in 1996, and shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal the following year, this is a welcome reappearance of a picture book brimming with Caribbean sunshine and culture.

The rhymes, games and songs remembered by Hallworth from her own Trinidadian childhood, reflect the similarities and differences between British and Afro-Caribbean children's experience, and she points out in her introduction that many have their roots in European originals, adapted to Caribbean life.

Binch's characteristic illustrations echo the atmosphere, soak up the sunshine and greatly enhance the attraction of the book.

Traditional children’s rhymes are repetitive, rhythmical and frequently nonsensical, funny, sometimes frightening and always memorable. This is a book in which some readers will revisit favourites and others discover new.

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