BooksForKidsBlog

Monday, May 03, 2021

Mountain Top Experience! Hiking Day by Ann Rockwell

 

TODAY MY MOTHER, MY FATHER, AND I ARE GOING TO CLIMB HICKORY HILL--THE MOUNTAIN I SEE FROM MY WINDOW.

Lacing up her sturiest sneakers and wearing her floppy sunhat, she loads fills her water bottle and stows it in her backpack. After a twenty-minute drive, they arrive at the bottom of the mountain and choose the red trail to follow. The leaves crunch under their feet as they reach the tall trees. Squirrels are stowing away nuts and woodpeckers are tap-tap-tapping the tree trunks for insects to eat.

"YUCK! BUGS!!" THE GIRL AND HER DAD SAY AT THE SAME TIME!

They stop to look at a fat brown toad, blending into the leaves, who greets them with a croak. The trail gets steeper, and Mom worries about finding the trail marker until they spot a porcupine going up a tree and see the blaze of red paint on its trunk. They spy yellow mushrooms and red berries along the trail, which is growing steeper. The girl sees a deer with big antlers leap away vanish among the trees.The girl notices that the trees are not so tall and the trail is stonier than before. Looking up, she can see glimpses of blue sky above. And then...

SUDDENLY THE GROUND IS A BIG FLAT ROCK.

"WE'RE AT THE SUMMIT!" SAYS DAD, "THE TOP OF HICKORY HILL."

"WE DID IT!"

The first mountain to climb is quite an experience, in Ann Rockwell's Hiking Day (A My First Experience Book), illustrated with the detailed and realistic drawings of daughter Lizzy Rockwell, much in the style of her famous father Harlow Rockwell. Getting to the top is a milestone for a young child, whether it's a mountain or the Washington Monument, and this vicarious "first experience" may get young children ready for their own first hike or walk up the mountain. Although they may not "climb every mountain," they will always remember their first climb with mom and dad. Says School Library Journal, "Anne Rockwell knows how to create a narrative that is engaging, soothing, and informative—just right for inquisitive young readers."

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