The River Singers by Tom Moorhouse

Published by OUP (ISBN:  978-0192734808)

Sylvan longs to go out of the burrow- into the air and to the Great River. But the world is a perilous place for water voles and something deadly is threatening their world. 

This beautifully crafted story is full of adventure and excitement; however, it doesn’t stop there. Tom Moorhouse is obviously an expert in this field and his knowledge flows seamlessly through the story, making it interesting and informative as well. 

Although it is easy to compare this book to ‘The Wind in the Willows’, there are more differences than similarities. There are no clothe-wearing, car-driving, picnic-eating animals and the problems that face Sylvan and his siblings are those of life and death.  The balance of science and story is perfect, supported by detailed illustrations which border many pages.

A book like this can be approached in so many different ways! The story and quality of writing –Something in her song shifted. She grew louder in his mind, and it seemed to him that a skein of music wove itself around him and through him…- make it a joy to read aloud; however, there are many opportunities for inspiring writing - poetry and non-fiction in particular. Conservations issues, adaptation, life cycles, habitats are all areas of science which would be supported by this story. Environmental issues can also be discussed and explored. 

A real treasure!