Three children hike up a mountain together, enjoying the process in different ways.
Wren, a brown child with an afro puff and glasses, brings a sketchbook and a flag. El, an Asian-presenting child, brings a poetry notebook. Hattie, the smallest, with tan skin and a mop of reddish-brown hair, brings feathers and holds Bean the dog’s leash. Hiking is their “favorite thing to do”—and no wonder. They start out running “like maniacs” through the forest until they reach “a ripe patch of thimbleberries,” which they eat until they’re full. El teaches the others to make little leaf baskets. They get lost and Hattie uses maps to find their way. They draw wildlife, spot deer tracks, and, in a magic moment, actually see a deer before it startles and disappears. The children tire, but they help one another persevere, and finally, as the sky turns yellow-pink, they reach the top, where the flag, a poem, and the feathers make for a simple celebration. After a satisfied moment of rest, they return to their small, apparently adult-free home as the stars come out (constellations are depicted). The flora and fauna of their Western woodland are labeled on each spread, and views of the children’s sketches share more of the experience with readers. Well-designed pictures create a depth and fullness that immerse readers in the forest. Endmatter makes clever use of Wren’s sketch pad to offer additional information about things seen in the woods.
Utterly satisfying. (Picture book. 3-9)