A young girl enjoys outings with her grandfather, canoeing in calm waters.
In rhyming quatrains, Davidson celebrates the pleasures of boating on a north woods lake: the quiet, the wildlife—tiny fish, beavers, ducks, frogs, and dragonflies—and the starlight in both sky and water at night. They watch an osprey catch a fish and swallows dancing at sunset. They hear “a loon’s wild call.” Quiet, reflective, and steadily paced, this reads aloud well. The rhymes are smooth (with one slant exception) and the rhythm steady, with a nice surprise at the end. Bilfano's nostalgic gouache paintings fill each spread. They show the canoe and its pale-skinned occupants from a wide variety of angles—even from underwater. She closes in on water lilies and wildlife and pulls back to show the landscape. Unfortunately, a striking close-up of the oddly patterned osprey shows her gripping its fish in a way ospreys typically do not: these fish hawks carry their prey facing forward, not sideways. Readers may also wonder at the roaring fire and the steaming caldron that appears to be a fixture of a woodland beach. Adults will be happy to see that both paddlers wear securely buckled life jackets while in the boat.
A pleasant, peaceful reminder of the wonders that can be found in the natural world, just right for bedtime. (Picture book. 3-6)