We’re so pleased at the reception of the book so far!
Here are a few kind words from reviewers and early readers:
A book you’re going to want to read to your children
… You’re going to spend many pleasant moments reading this story to your children and grandchildren, exploring the pictures and wondering about them together. The images of the flies on the front and back inside covers alone will hold your child’s attention, while you examine and discuss each one.
Where were you Andrew Wiener when my girls were growing up?
Down By The River is must read for any parent or grandparent wishing to hook a child into the sport we all love so much
Sharing a New Children’s Book: “Down By The River”
…certainly a children’s book for the fly fishing family to enjoy and connect through the off-season, but it’s also a book for non-fly fishing friends to share with their kids. It’s a simple, enjoyable read and we certainly enjoyed the artwork throughout. … If I were a youngster again, this is exactly the kind of book that I would have lost myself into, daydreaming of my days with my uncle Russ starting back when I was 5. … had I owned this book growing up my parents would have put it aside once I became a teenager and put back in my hands to read to my kids when the seasons of generations shifted. And that’s what I’d encourage you to do with this book.
Voices from the River: Book connects kids with fly fishing
Author Andrew Weiner and artist April Chu have produced a book that could help whet the appetite of youngsters you hope will share your love for fly fishing. Down by the River, released this week by Abrams Books, is a beautiful book documenting a day of fishing by a young boy named Art, his mother and his grandfather.
— Trout Unlimited
★ DOWN BY THE RIVER [KIRKUS STARRED REVIEW]
A leisurely paced, lushly illustrated story about a boy’s first fly-fishing trip. Straightforward yet descriptive text portrays an intergenerational excursion in which young Art embarks on his first fly-fishing trip with his angler mother and grandfather. Partly told through remembrances of Art’s mother’s first such trip, the tale emphasizes the importance of family and learning from one another. Unlike his mother, Art does not hook a fish on his first try, but his persistence pays off when he catches a beautiful brown trout, depicted dramatically on its own spread. On the final spread, Art continues this fly-fishing tradition as a grandfather himself, the white man leading his interracial family to the same waters where he learned, eager to pass along this family experience. Warm, immersive illustrations change perspective to add drama and tension, even depicting that of an osprey overhead. The illustrations are rendered in charcoal pencil with digital coloration, creating a watercolor effect. Informative, accessible backmatter will appeal to children eager to take their own turns with the rod, providing guidelines, emphasizing conservation, and depicting both men and women anglers. Endpapers display and label nearly 80 different, brightly colored flies set against a background of light brown, water-stained paper, evocative of the book’s river setting. No tall tale, this book delivers an authentic, heartwarming story with a focus on family and togetherness. (Picture book. 4–8)
— Kirkus Reviews
While reading Down by the River with my son and daughter, memories of fishing with my grandfather came flooding back. I will admit I teared up a little. Best of all, when we finished reading the book, there was a light in my son’s eyes. I asked him if he would like to go fishing with Daddy soon. With a huge smile on his face he said, “Can we go after it gets light?”
— Tenkara Grasshopper
Down By the River is a celebration of the power of the sport to draw families together and back to cherished natural places. It is a multigenerational family story and the heart of the book is young protagonist Art’s relationship with his grandfather. Based on the author’s own decades of experience fly fishing, the book exudes a strong regard for nature. It includes extensive backmatter about conservation and fly-fishing equipment and techniques.
— Angling Trade
I read Down by the River to my five-year-old granddaughter before fishing the next day. She loved it. It added a lot of excitement and knowledge to her fishing experience.
— Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia Inc.
This is a beautiful book; fun and informative to read, lovely to look at and simple enough for kids without being simplistic. I’d recommend it to children with an interest in fly-fishing or to parents who’d like to spark that interest. For that matter, I’d also recommend it to some of my more extreme fly-fishing friends for its humble, humane view of a sport that sometimes gets too fast-paced and competitive.
— John Gierach, bestselling author of A Fly Rod of Your Own
This is a much needed and beautiful introduction, through story and drawings, to the wondrous world of fly fishing. Weiner’s text weaves a lovely tale of a family outing on the river with detailed but not overwhelming technical information about our much loved past-time. With dialog and instruction between a boy, his mother and his grandfather (accompanied by their dog!) Down by the River connects us to nature as well as to a fabled tradition of angling literature originating with Izaak Walton’s Compleat Angler of 1653. April Chu’s drawings are exquisite!
— James Prosek, author of Trout: An Illustrated History and Trout of the World
Down by the River will charm children, parents and grandparents. Andrew Weiner’s captivating writing shows the joy that comes from companionship and the strength of family from generation to generation. I can’t wait to begin selling this treasure.
— Elaine Petrocelli, owner, Book Passage Bookstore
The next best thing to fly fishing — reading about fly fishing. Read this book. Then go cast your own wooly bugger.
— Jon Scieszka, first National Ambassador for Children’s Literature and flyfishing junkie
Patient text for a patient sport, this is a quiet book that rewards. The stream and fish draws each generation to it. Makes me want to wade and wait and watch.
— Nikki McClure, author/illustrator of Collect Raindrops: The Seasons Gathered
Down by the River is a loving look at family traditions and flyfishing. And it’s one of the best books I’ve read in years about the sport. It is lushly illustrated, packed with facts and fun back matter, and the endpapers filled with paintings of flies used in fly-fishing will have you yearning to spend the day hip-deep in a cool, sunlit river.
— Rene Kirkpatrick, children’s book buyer, University Bookstore, Seattle
A celebration of a quiet event that takes place in a child’s life, is remembered through adulthood and passed on to the next generation. Beautiful. Priceless.
— Valerie Lewis, owner, Hicklebee’s Bookstore
Down by the River captures the allure and passion of fly fishing, and the pursuit’s multi-generational appeal. It will resonate with seasoned fly fishers and no doubt hook future anglers into the sport.
— Chris Santella, author of Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die and The Tug is the Drug
Down By the River, like so many great children’s picture books, is about more than what it seems on the surface. It is an excellent introduction to fly fishing and all that that entails, but this book is also about family and learning from grandparents. The story is about passing down family traditions and appreciating the special moment that is now, which speaks to the mindful awareness many are striving to show children in books currently. Down by the River offers subtle wisdom about family, conservation, mindfulness, and of course, fly fishing!
— Michelle Bellah, children’s book buyer, Copperfield’s Books