Up the Mountain Path

Marianne Dubuc. Princeton Architectural Press, $17.95 (72p) ISBN 978-1-61689-723-9
Canadian writer Dubuc (The Fish and the Cat ), whose gentle work champions friendship and explores life stages, suggests that kindness can become a tradition. In pencil, colored pencil, and watercolor-washed spreads, she introduces Mrs. Badger, who lives in a hobbitlike dwelling and climbs Sugarloaf Peak every Sunday, helping overturned turtles and speaking with acquaintances along the way. On the trail one day, Mrs. Badger senses that she’s being watched. “There’s enough for both of us, if you’re hungry,” she says, opening her spotted bindle and addressing the air in front of her. Readers see who’s lurking: a young, nervous kitten named Lulu. Lulu joins Mrs. Badger on her Sunday walks, learning about wild plants and making friends. And when Mrs. Badger is too frail to make the trips anymore, Lulu takes over, performing the same kinds of small favors that Mrs. Badger did before her, and inviting a new young friend to trek alongside. Lulu’s faithfulness and loving-kindness implicitly honors Mrs. Badger’s memory. Hand-lettered text adds homey comfort, and so do small side notes (“little, bare red head” reads a description of a turkey vulture named Will). It is, in essence, a guidebook to amity and exploration. Ages 3–7. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/27/2018
Release date: 10/02/2018
Genre: Children's
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