THE RAFT by Jim LaMarche

THE RAFT

by & illustrated by
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KIRKUS REVIEW

LaMarche (Little Oh, 1997) builds on childhood memories for this magical tale of artistic awakening. Young Nicky's resentment at having to spend all summer out in the country with Grandma changes to wonder when he finds a raft on the nearby river—a raft that is not only decorated with mysterious animal portraits, but seems, somehow, to attract wildlife. The author depicts his spectacled youngster floating through soft focus but exquisitely realistic natural scenes, sometimes alone, sometimes with Grandma, accompanied by flights of accurately rendered songbirds and other forest or river creatures seemingly as curious about—and as unafraid of him as he of them. At summer's end, he paints a picture of his own on the raft, after rescuing a fawn trapped on a muddy bank, and admits that he's become, like Grandma, a “river rat.” The text's dreamy pace reflects both the river's gently rippling serenity and Nicky's deepening appreciation for the natural marvels he witnesses. It's an eyefilling, and soulfilling, idyll. (Picture book. 911)

Pub Date: April 30th, 2000
ISBN: 0-688-13977-9
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2000




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