Can you imagine the deep sense of anticipation of a day exploring the big outdoors? Maybe you’re headed on a Hike, a new, unknown experience, far from your suburban life? Perhaps there’s a big journey ahead, with a rucksack to clip on and then hills to climb? It would mean that you’d have to take risks, from stepping over a log bridge to climbing cliffs.

Yet might there be fun too? Perhaps discoveries of fish, frozen puddles, nests and wildlife? Then there would be such a sense of achievement offered from standing and realising the awe and possibility of nature.

Not only does Pete Oswald offer us the opportunity to share this experience in Hike, but he takes through the day in steps so that we drink in the knowledge of nature. His pictures are deft; we see the boy’s excitement and fear and then the gradual relief and confidence of both parent and child in their experience. Furthermore, we feel the exhilaration and confidence offered through their experience.

The pictures are so careful, painstaking and beautiful, so that the minutiae of preparation is offered in smaller snapshots, while the climax of the mountaintop stretches across a full, glorious double page.

Hike is an outstanding picture book that we love and recommend highly to readers of all ages, at home and school.

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Pete Oswald

(Walker Books)– hardback

What if you were awakened early one morning to pack all the equipment you’d laid out the night before? Could it be that you and your Dad might be headed on a Hike? Thereafter, there would be joy in the knowledge, then anticipation of the arrival through the journey from city to hillside. Furthermore, there would be such pride in clipping on your rucksack and laying out your map of the journey. It seems at this point, you would begin your trek.
Pete Oswald, whom Bookwagon recognises from work with Jory John of Goodnight Already! amongst other titles, offers a glorious wordless picture book. It seems that not only are our characters taking a breath-taking exploration of nature! Thereafter, we realise their route, the signs of wildlife all around them, alongside taking in what they see through binoculars, magnifying glass, sketchbook and camera. There is such awe in their discoveries!
What’s more there are emotions to be shared in the curiosity of newness, the fun of frozen puddles or the terror of trying something new. Finally, there is such a sense of achievement, whether it be realising the might of a waterfall, or drinking in a world without boundaries with someone you love and trust.
Hike is an outstanding picture book, a story of the making of a memory, bonding, wonder and the big outdoors. Furthermore, it is the first solo picture book work from animator, Pete Oswald


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