• NZ Booklovers

Floating Down the River by Simon Stanley


Simon Stanley is an award-winning musician who struck gold at the NZ Music Award for Best Children’s Song with his song ‘Malry sat on a Pumpkin Seed’. Returning this time with a new book based on the lyrics of a new song. At the back of the book is the music of the tune and the accompanying chords.


Despite Stanley now living in Nashville, Tennessee, Stanley draws on imagery from his native New Zealand childhood. That wonderfully rustic feeling of floating down the river in a blow up tube surrounded by the native plants and birds.


It’s such a great concept, bringing together the music and lyrics into a beautifully illustrated piece. The illustrations by Emily Boswell have managed to bring out the character of the piece with wonderful colours and perspectives. Of particular note is the beautiful final image of the sun setting across the river with birds roosting for the night.


The book brings back memories of idyllic summers of Kiwi culture and spending time as a family enjoying the lazy late afternoons with fish n chips on the beach. Above all it just celebrates life as we know it here in our little slice of paradise.


It is easy to fall in love with this story, and to get caught up in the magic of nature and the softly flowing river. In this house there was something for everyone, from the sound of the birds to the fish n chips on the beach.


The video for the song is also available on YouTube and well worth a watch.


Reviewer: Chris Reed

Yellow Mellow Moose