cover image Hike


Pete Oswald. Candlewick, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0157-4

Nature forms the backdrop of this largely wordless picture book, beginning with the nature motif of a child’s chamber. A brown-skinned father gently nudges his sleeping child as morning sun spills into the darkened room. The child rubs their eyes, remembers something wonderful, and leaps out of bed to assemble a hat and backpack, sturdy shoes, and a compass and map (a cat assists with the preparations). Then the two are on their way out of town and into the wilderness. With a gentle, misty palette and slender, angular figures, this journey by Oswald (The Sad Little Fact) follows the duo into the forest, capturing small dramas along the way—fear of crossing a log over a river made easier with an outstretched hand, a snack overlooking a magnificent vista, a final shared task. The beauty of the natural world is viewed through the lens of the relationship between parent and child; their closeness is what gives this outdoor experience meaning. On the way home, their eyes meet in the rear-view mirror; they know they’ve shared something special, a moment underscored by a final spread of the two cuddling on the sofa. Ages 4–8. Agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Productions. [em](Mar.) [/em]