The Adventures of River Sky and Jade Rain
Two adventurous kids, River Sky and Jade Rain, travel through Zion National Park with their parents to explore their surroundings and learn about nature—which will encourage young readers to go outside and experience the gifts of the great outdoors.
River Sky and Jade Rain are two fun-loving siblings who venture with their parents through Zion National Park, located in Springdale, Utah. The family explores the wilderness by several means—on horseback, by shuttle, and on foot. Along with the trails, they visit the parks’ visitor’s center, history museum and spend three nights at the lodge. On their adventure they trek through canyons, around mountains, behind waterfalls and through a river—encountering wildlife, mountain climbers and fellow hikers along the way.
River and Rain not only experience the park through exploring it, but also gain insights about Zion when their parents read to them at bedtime. Throughout their adventure they learn the importance of safety on the trail like holding on to the handrail while walking on a narrow path, and about respecting their environment by not littering. The family also stops frequently for rest and refreshment during their hikes because, “Water is so important on the trail when it’s cool and when it’s hotter.”
The Adventures of River Sky and Jade Rain is a great book for teaching children all about Zion National Park through the eyes of two adventurous kids (more books in the series include other US National Parks). The story flows nicely in a rhyming pattern, making it easy to follow for younger readers. The illustrations help the story come to life as they nicely capture the beauty of the park and its surroundings.
The book includes safety tips and ways to respect the environment not only throughout the story but also at the end where Ranger Pauly Olson and his daughter, Junior Ranger Sunshine, share helpful advice to keep children safe while visiting the park. Additionally, the whole family can learn more about Zion in the fun questions and facts section at the end of book.
Readers are sure to enjoy the colorful imagery and fun adventures of River and Rain. There is no faith elements included in the book, but it does encourage good character traits that readers can apply to everyday life like sharing with others, listening to your parents, “being kind and gentle in action and words” and “being a light that shines bright.” The story also encourages readers to be brave and try new things: “Not knowing if they could make it, but wanting to try because they knew that not trying is how to truly fail.”
Kids and parents alike will learn about features of the park that will surely inspire them to visit it themselves, which is the sincere hope of the book’s author, Daniel J. Rocca. The Adventures of River Sky and Jade Rain is an enjoyable read for all ages. However, some words like, “economically sufficient,” “carom” and “enchanted tributary” may be difficult to pronounce or understand for young children so a helper may be needed at times to assist those readers. Nevertheless, the poetic verse and fun adventures are sure to entertain and educate everyone, and earns our Dove-Approved Seal for All Ages.
The Dove Take:
This adventuresome yet educational book will delight all explorers as they join siblings, River and Rain, while they navigate through Zion National Park.