Varnai, Elizabeth S. Illustrated by Kate Hartley. Hiking to the Top: What’s Happening on the Mountain. Vista Court Books, 2022. 978-0-962-84224-5. Unpaged. $17.99. Grades PK-3.
Young readers explore and discover with a mother and son as they hike to the top of Lookout Mountain in Hiking to the Top: What’s Happening on the Mountain? by the author of Good Morning, Loon. Hiking challenges, such as climbing rocks and balancing on fallen trees, and common animal discoveries such as water striders and fawns are detailed in the text and illustrations. Camouflaged animals also are highlighted on many pages with names and thought bubbles. Throughout, the author and illustrator depict a sense of joy and discovery in being outdoors and spending time together while also sharing basic hiking information and nature facts. Back matter expands on the text for older readers, including information on hiking safety as well as natural history information on each of the animals in the book and additional sources of information.
THOUGHTS: This book will appeal to both animal lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike and provides a strong introduction to outdoor adventures for classrooms embarking or expanding on an outdoor or nature center field trip. Kate Hartley’s realistic watercolor illustrations immerse readers in the book’s setting and entice readers to step beyond the page into their own adventure. In addition, the detailed back matter provides a launch point for research. A strong option for populations with access to outdoor adventure.
Picture Book Hannah J. Thomas, Central Bucks SD