The Waterfall by Jonathan London

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Synopsis

We inched our way up and up— The waterfall roared by our ears
into a great rumbling boiling witch's cauldron
far below. "I'm scared," said my brother.
I said, "Just don't look down."
Their father says it can't be done, but when two brothers on a camping trip come upon a magnificent waterfall, they resolve to scale the steep rocky slope to its top. In this evocative narrative, inspired by actual experience, renowned writer and poet Jonathan London invites young readers to share in his deep love of the outdoors: from skinny-dipping in a perfect swimming hole, to basking in the warmth of a campfire, to falling asleep to the mysterious rustling of night animals just outside the tent. Perfectly complemented by Jill Kastner's lush nature scenes, readers will be lured into the heart of a summer forest.
 

About Jonathan London

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Jonathan London was born a "navy-brat" in Brooklyn, New York, and raised on Naval stations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. He received a Masters Degree in Social Sciences but never formally studied literature or creative writing. He began to consider himself a writer about the time he graduated from college. After college he became a dancer in a modern dance company and worked at numerous low-paying jobs as a laborer or counselor. He wrote poems and short stories for adults, earning next to nothing despite being published in many literary magazines. For some 20 years before he penned his first children's book, London was writing poetry and short stories for adults. In the early 1970s, he was reading his poems in San Francisco jazz clubs, and those experiences found their way into his witty children's book Hip Cat, which has been featured on the PBS children's television show Reading Rainbow. After writing down the tale The Olw Who Became the Moon in 1989, London began to wonder if other people might want to read it. He picked up his kids' copy of Winnie-the-Pooh and saw that the book was published by Dutton, so he casually decided to send his story to them. Surprisingly enough, they wanted to publish him. Working with different illustrators, and occasionally with co-authors, London has produced literally dozens of books. Most have appeared under his name, but some have come out under a pseudonym, which still remains a secret.He has published over forty books and has earned recognitions from organizations like the National Science Teachers Association. Jill Kastner is the popular illustrator of numerous books for children, including Aurora Means Dawn by Scott Russell Sanders and Howling Hill and Beardream by Will Hobbs. She has also written and illustrated two books of her own, Snake Hunt and Barnyard Big Top, which Kirkus Reviews called "great fun."Jill Kastner is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. She lives with her husband, Tim, and their daughter, Carson, in Weehawken, New Jersey.
 
Published March 1, 1999 by Viking Juvenile. 32 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors, Action & Adventure, Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Waterfall

Kirkus Reviews

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London (Ice Bear and Little Fox, 1998, etc.) describes a family’s trip into the mountains to backpack up a creek.

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Publishers Weekly

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`End of the road.' "" The next day turns into one of unexpected triumphs, first when the boys scale the waterfall, then when they coach and coax Mom and Dad as they climb it, too: ""I never felt more anxious--seeing my parents clinging to that sheer rock--or more proud, either,"" says the narrator.

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The Independent

The whole community searches for her, and some even clamber over the surface of the frozen fall, but it is only her friend Siss who catches a glimpse of her, like an apparition inside the ice palace, looking out through the ice wall.

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London Review of Books

(Typically, the number 51 crops up in various contexts throughout the book, and I have yet to work out if this implies anything more than the pleasure of kaleidoscopic patterning.) The title means, in fact, ‘51 letters’, and these epistles are addressed ‘to the islands on the other side of the wo...

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Time Out New York

After several stylistically diverse opening sequences, including a dream episode that plays a little like Buñuel directing Brazil, this engaging drama of transitions large and small, personal and public, pitches political differences and family rivalries alongside a rites of passage tale and a li...

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Time Out New York

After several stylistically diverse opening sequences, including a dream episode that plays a little like Buñuel directing Brazil, this engaging drama of transitions large and small, personal and public, pitches political differences and family rivalries alongside a rites of passage tale and a li...

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