The Secret River by Marjorie Rawlings
There’s just not enough…not enough money, not enough food, not enough fish for her daddy to sell at the market. Hard times have come to the forest, but Calpurnia wants to turn them back into soft times. With her little dog Buggy Horse and a tip from old Mother Albirtha, the wisest person in the forest, Calpurnia finds a secret river and uses the pink paper roses from her hair to catch enough beautiful catfish to feed the whole swamp land —with some left over for Daddy to sell. When she tries to find the river again the next day, Mother Albirtha tells her, “Child, sometimes a thing happens once, and does not ever happen anymore….You caught catfish when catfish were needed…you will not find the river again.” This story by the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Yearling and literary icon Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings is about living in a time of want, yet it is overflowing with riches—stunning language, mystical happenings, wondrous, wondrous artwork. Beautiful in all ways that a book can be beautiful, this unforgettable picture book is a classic in the making.
My Thoughts: The text of this book won the Newbery Honor in 1956 and has just been reprinted with gorgeous illustrations by the Dillons as a picturebook. So this is one of those books that kind of bridge picturebooks and middle grade, in my opinion. Anyway, the reason why I love this book is because I adored the book Striped Ice Cream and in that book, the main character reads "The Secret River." So when I found out that "The Secret River" was actually real book, I was extremely excited. I'm so happy this book is back in print and it's the perfect book to read in honor of MLK day.