HIKE by Pete Oswald
Kirkus Star


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 8
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A brown father-and-child pair leave the city behind for a day together in the mountains in this wordless picture book by the illustrator of The Good Egg, by Jory John (2019).

The sun sets on a suburban row house with a fenced yard and a jeep outside. A man tucks a child into bed in a room filled with outdoor gear. The next morning comes quickly, and the child jumps out of bed to gets dressed and packed for a day in the great outdoors. The two drive out of the town and park at a trailhead. Backpacks on, they hike a trail that leads through thick woods populated by animals, only some of which reveal themselves. Binoculars, camera, trail mix, walking sticks, and even rope and helmets come in handy along the way as they explore, but the highlights are the wondrous view from the summit and the act of planting a tree together there. Dusk ushers the father and child out of the woods, and it is dark by the time they arrive home and share cookies over the family album in their pajamas. The blue- and green-themed art rewards readers who look closely. The relationship between the father and child makes this not just a picture book set in the outdoors, but a warm expression of how memories are created and bonds form.

Like the woods, this book is an immersive experience that invites repeated visits. (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: March 17th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-5362-0157-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2020


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