Hike

by Pete Oswald (Author) Pete Oswald (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Take to the trails for a celebration of nature -- and a day spent with dad.

In the cool and quiet early light of morning, a father and child wake up. Today they're going on a hike. Follow the duo into the mountains as they witness the magic of the wilderness, overcome challenges, and play a small role in the survival of the forest. By the time they return home, they feel alive -- and closer than ever -- as they document their hike and take their place in family history.

In detail-rich panels and textured panoramas, Pete Oswald perfectly paces this nearly wordless adventure, allowing readers to pause for subtle wonders and marvel at the views. A touching tribute to the bond between father and child, with resonant themes for Earth Day, Hike is a breath of fresh air.


Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review

A brown father-and-child pair leave the city behind for a day together in the mountains in this wordless picture book by the illustrator of The Good Egg, by Jory John (2019).

The sun sets on a suburban row house with a fenced yard and a jeep outside. A man tucks a child into bed in a room filled with outdoor gear. The next morning comes quickly, and the child jumps out of bed to gets dressed and packed for a day in the great outdoors. The two drive out of the town and park at a trailhead. Backpacks on, they hike a trail that leads through thick woods populated by animals, only some of which reveal themselves. Binoculars, camera, trail mix, walking sticks, and even rope and helmets come in handy along the way as they explore, but the highlights are the wondrous view from the summit and the act of planting a tree together there. Dusk ushers the father and child out of the woods, and it is dark by the time they arrive home and share cookies over the family album in their pajamas. The blue- and green-themed art rewards readers who look closely. The relationship between the father and child makes this not just a picture book set in the outdoors, but a warm expression of how memories are created and bonds form.

Like the woods, this book is an immersive experience that invites repeated visits. (Picture book. 2-8)

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

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. (Mar.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

Gr 1-3--This almost wordless book takes readers through a journey from the city to the heights of the timberland, an adventure that begins in the dark of night through the early morning--a preparation time for father and child. Sleepily waking, dressing with care and filling the backpack, father and son drive through the rising dawn to wind past green columns of trees. A bird's perspective finds a young fox and eggs in a nest. A series of vignettes captures deer, hidden insects, a flying eagle, and even the prints of a bear. Late snow, a challenging walk, and a quiet meal precede a final climb and a shared tradition amid the trees. Painted landscapes conjure the soft haze of forest waterfalls, mountain vistas, watery strokes of tree branches, small details of flowers, woodland creatures, and the warm expressions between parent and child. VERDICT A suggested first purchase for all libraries, this visual feast evokes a breathtaking climb to the heights, where the absence of text reflects the serenity of the mountain and those who quietly rejoice in the hike.--Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

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.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The relationship between the father and child makes this not just a picture book set in the outdoors, but a warm expression of how memories are created and bonds form. Like the woods, this book is an immersive experience that invites repeated visits.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The handsome digital artwork clearly expresses the characters' emotions as well as the beauty and majesty of the natural world...A near-wordless book seems a particularly appropriate way of communicating the quiet yet powerful experience of walking through a wilderness area. A memorable picture book on enjoying the natural world.
—Booklist (starred review)

Painted landscapes conjure the soft haze of forest waterfalls, mountain vistas, watery strokes of tree branches, small details of flowers, woodland creatures, and the warm expressions between parent and child. A suggested first purchase for all libraries, this visual feast evokes a breathtaking climb to the heights, where the absence of text reflects the serenity of the mountain and those who quietly rejoice in the hike.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

There's gentle humor throughout, and the loving relationship between this father and child enjoying the outdoors together is movingly emphasized. Oswald's use of earth tones and textures reinforces the beauty of the natural world and the importance of sustaining it through simple family traditions like this one.
—The Horn Book (starred review)

Oswald's Klassen-esque figures of the wide-eyed, dark-skinned dad and kid feature in the smaller panels but they're appropriately dwarfed by the majesty of the woods in larger spreads...the outing is a sunny celebration of the outdoors and of sharing a strenuous but beautiful day of exploration. Many kids will long to follow suit, and maybe this will prompt some new family excursions.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

The lush digital artwork is full of details for careful observers. The use of white space and absence of any sort of panel lines gives the whole undertaking a clean quality, like breathing in fresh mountain air...A beautiful book about family, perseverance, and the Great Outdoors.
—Travis Jonker, 100 Scope Notes

Pete Oswald
Pete Oswald is the illustrator of the New York Times bestsellers The Bad Seed and The Good Egg, both written by Jory John. He worked as a character designer and concept artist on the popular films Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Hotel Transylvania, and ParaNorman. He was also the art director and production designer for The Angry Birds Movie. Pete Oswald lives in Santa Monica, California, with his wife and three children.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9781536201574
Lexile Measure
N/A
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publication date
March 20, 2020
Series
-

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