Marvelous New Picture Books: River Rose and the Magical Lullaby


River Rose and the Magical Lullaby

Author: Kelly Clarkson

Illustrated by: Laura Hughes

I am a big Kelly Clarkson fan, and when I found out that the grammy winner had written a picture book, I knew that I had to read it. River Rose and the Magical Lullaby is a whimsical story of friendship and adventure authored by Clarkson and illustrated by Laura Hughes. One of my favorite elements of this book is its accompanied lullaby, which Clarkson wrote and readers can listen to and sing along with.


The story follows young protagonist River Rose, named for and inspired by Clarkson’s own daughter, as she goes on a fanciful adventure through the zoo at night. River Rose loves singing, dancing, skipping, hopping and playing pretend. She is accompanied by her pet dog and best friend, Joplin (a nod to singer Janis Joplin) on her journey. River Rose and Joplin make many friends at the zoo including polar bears, penguins and even a hippopotamus! With each animal, they engage in imaginative and eccentric play, slip-sliding, riding and splashing to their heart’s delight. As the night winds down, River Rose and Joplin conclude that though they enjoyed their adventure, home is their favorite place to be.


I found the book’s illustrations fitting and delightful. The bright colors and playful sketches of River Rose and her animal friends perfectly echo the story’s whimsical and playful themes. My personal favorite illustration depicts River Rose’s zoo party. Each animal is shown in some form of musical expression, singing, dancing and playing instruments with content grins.



The book’s content is amusing, silly and lively. Each line contains whimsical rhymes that lend a sing-song quality to the story, perfect for a book with a lullaby accompaniment.


River Rose and the Magical Lullaby is an engaging tale that would incite reverie and whimsy in all readers, whether they be 4 or 40. I would recommend this book to all young readers, especially those with big imaginations and carefree attitudes.

Posted by Natalie Gustin


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