cover image Skating Wild on an Inland Sea

Skating Wild on an Inland Sea

Jean E. Pendziwol, illus. by Todd Stewart. Groundwood, $19.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-77306-704-9

Striking, light- and shadow-filled winter landscapes by Stewart accompany evocative prose poetry by Pendziwol in this engrossing picture book. Lake Superior—a “vast inland sea”—makes a cracking noise, “the song of water/ held captive by winter.” Hoping to “sing with Superior, too,” the book’s young narrator and another child venture out to skate. Inside a small house seen in the blue of dawn, the children wonder at breakfast whether another sound they hear is “the wailing wind—or is it a wolf?” It’s the wind, they decide, before bundling up. In silkscreen-like digital spreads, the light next turns lemony, casting long shadows on the snow, where the two find wolf-prints, though the narrating child senses the animal “is long gone.” Lacing their skates, the two are soon on the ice, seen from above, then from below, in this adults-free vision of life lived in harmony with the wild. The children’s skin tones mirror the hue of the pages’ changing light. Ages 3–6. (Oct.)