Saturday, November 9, 2019

Review: The Hike by Alison Farrell

by Alison Farrell
Chronicle Books
Picture Book
56 pages
ages 4 to 8

This book tells the story of three girls' friendship—and their tribulations and triumphs in the great outdoors. Here is the best and worst of any hike: from picnics to puffing and panting, deer-sighting to detours. Featuring a glossary, a sketchbook by one of the characters, abundant labels throughout, and scientific backmatter.


The love of nature and wondrous adventure of hiking blossoms on every page and wakes the desire to head outdoors.

The joy of hiking breaks free with a sense of fun, friendship, exploration and adventure. Three girls and their dog head out into the great outdoors and see what nature has to offer—everything from plants to insects to features and wildlife. Each page offers a vibrant scene, packed full of life. There's a short phrase, which adds to the atmosphere, but it's the illustrations which keep the pages turning.

While hiking and everything it entails will have young listeners wanting to hit the paths themselves, this book is more about the immense variety of life nature has to offer. Each page carries more than a couple examples of various animals, insects and plants. Each one is depicted in the natural scene with its name. To help learn more about these, there's a cute form of glossary—written just like the girls might do in their own notebooks—with more tidbits. It's a great way to teach kids about nature and is sure to grab interest.

I was a bit disappointed that the areas where various plants and such are found is never mentioned or pointed out. While the illustrations hint that it covers a wide range (forests to mountain tops), it'd help young readers/listeners to know exactly what they might keep an eye out for in their own areas when they go hiking. On another note, the glossary does mention that several plants are edible...which is simply dangerous, since the illustrations are not exact and kids really might go out and think they see one of the mentioned plants and try 'cooking' it or eating it themselves. Mine would if not warned.

All in all, I loved this book. It's a great way to get kids interested in heading out and discovering nature on their own.

And here she is...

Alison Farrell has a BA in Painting and an MSE in art education. Her first book was Cycle City, and she lives in Portland, Oregon.

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