“What is a river?” an inquisitive young girl asks her grandmother as the pair sits together on the river’s banks. Like many questions posed by curious children, this one is deceptively simple in its asking. Yet, its answer spans the very world itself: geography and history, science and religion, industry and environmentalism.
Through author-illustrator Monika Vaicenavičienė’s eyes, the river becomes a vessel for enormous complexity, a lens through which the interconnectedness of our shared earth can be understood.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Lithuania, Monika Vaicenavičienė graduated from the Komstak Art School in Sweden. What Is a River? is her debut picture book. In making the art for the book, she used a variety of materials, including pencils, watercolors, gouache, and digital tools.
In this video, Vaicenavičienė tells about their book, What is a River?, which has been awarded several prizes and translated into over ten languages after being first published in Swedish in 2019.