John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall

Julie Danneberg, illus. by Jamie Hogan. Charlesbridge, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58089-586-6

Danneberg recounts an event in the life of naturalist and Sierra Club founder John Muir at Yosemite Falls in 1871. While attempting to get as close as possible to the falls one night, Muir narrowly escapes being engulfed by the surging, freezing water: “He slowly and carefully makes his way out from behind the beautiful, dangerous, magical, scary waterfall.” Paragraphs set apart from the main text supply broader insight into Muir’s life and work, yet Hogan’s pastels, while fittingly dramatic, can also be somewhat wooden. An afterword shares a more detailed version of Muir’s waterfall experience, which he eloquently described as “my wild bath in moonlit spray.” Ages 4–8. (Mar.)