The jacket simulates an exercise-book cover, the crayon drawings are suggestive of a child's, the opening words put you in her place--"I was the one who first noticed the red canoe for sale in a yard on the way home from school." And then we are off on a three-day canoe trip, picture-mapped at the outset, with "My mom and my aunt Rosie and my cousin Sam." As presented, it's an adventure for the reader or looker-on too. The words "We drove and drove/ and drove and drove. . ." rise and dip, with the little car, across the top and bottom of the wide page; "Our First Morning on the River" brings a double-page spread of multiple activities ("Sam tries paddling"; "we find crayfish"); with the first night's stopover come illustrated recipes for dumplings and fruit stew, and illustrated instructions for putting up a tent. As on all such expeditions, there are high spots and low spots and sudden changes: in the rain, "I am shaking my paddle at the sky and yelling," when the sun comes out through a hole in the clouds and a rainbow appears. Fish jump around--pictured and labeled; an accident occurs--after which Sam, the culprit, "gets up as though the canoe were a baby's cradle." The resonant wordings, the eventfulness, the information--plus the spontaneity and contagious delight--combine into an experience that can be relived, with new discoveries, again and again.