If a river sang a song, what would it sound like? Today’s stories show us how to listen and learn from the world around us. Plus, musician Nabihah Iqbal shares her own river song.

Get Nightsong: | |

NIGHTSONG by Ari Berk, illustrated by Loren Long. Text copyright © 2012 by Ari Berk. Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Loren Long. Produced by permission of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.

Get Song of the River: | |

Song of the River
“Song of the River” written by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Kimberly Andrews. Copyright © 2019. Used with the permission of Gecko Press, distributed in the United States and Canada by Lerner Publisher Services. All rights reserved.


Loren Long

Loren Long, the illustrator of Nightsong, used texture and color to capture the emotional arc of Chiro, the little bat in the story. Here’s what she had to say about her artistic choices:  

“I used heavy graphite and scratchy charcoal in the beginning of the book to start the story out dark and moody because it’s a pretty scary thing for Chiro to fly out to the pond by himself for the first time! But the book becomes full color toward the end when his song grows stronger and he sees everything and returns home to his mother.” -- Loren Long, illustrator of Nightsong

Loren Long

Kimberly Andrews, the illustrator of Song of the River, found a different way into her story -- a personal one!

“The illustrations stem largely from my childhood memories of growing up in the Canadian Rocky Mountains - even Cam the mountain boy has the same name as my brother!” -- Kimberly Andrews, illustrator of Song of the River

Song River Cover
Kimberly Andrews.
Song of the River
Kimberly Andrews


If a river sang a song... what do you think it’d sound like? Listen to the episode to hear musician and DJ Nabihah Iqbal’s version, and then send us your own! Use your voice, instruments, found objects... whatever you think will help you create a river’s song. 

We’re excited to hear your musical creations!


We spoke to Ari Berk, the author of Nightsong, and he described the moment the idea for the story came to him. It’s not what you might expect!

“I was driving home from upstate Michigan, thinking about bats. I was trying to imagine something that humans and bats both share. Bats have echolocation to help them navigate the world...but what do we have? "What is sense?" I thought. And that was it! I pulled the car over to the side of the road and wrote these words on a scrap of paper: "Sense is the song you sing out into the world, and the song the world sings back to you." And from those first words, Chiro spread his wings, and the story of Nightsong quickly took shape.” -- Ari Berk, author of Nightsong


A Stone Sat Still

A Stone Sat Still by Bendan Wenzel
Get this book:  |  | 


Listen by Holly M. McGhee
Get this book:  |  | 


Ocean Meets Sky by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
Get this book:  |  | 


Evaporate (verb) -- To turn from liquid into vapor. When water in a river evaporates, it turns into teeny-tiny droplets of water that are so light, they become a part of the air!

Submit your own Wonderful Words.