Review by Leah Harrigan
Book written and illustrated by Alison Farrell
There’s something extraordinary that happens when a child steps out into the natural world, the possibility of exploration ahead of her. With each overturned leaf and puzzling new sight, there’s a momentum that propels curiosity forward. The Hike by Alison Farrell is an outdoor adventure story that follows three curious, brave young female explorers who set out for a hike that takes them wherever the trail leads. Bounding together up the mountain path, Wren, El, Hattie, and their dog Bean demonstrate some of the most valuable parts of time spent in the local woods: observing, inquiring, and pondering the wondrous things around them.
The book’s playful, expansive illustrations allow readers to wander through the forest alongside the young explorers, spotting treasures like fairy ring mushrooms, porcupine quill, and snowberry among the leaves and wood. Throughout the hike, the characters are slowed down by a ripe patch of thimbleberries or an impromptu lesson from El in making leaf baskets. They blissfully listen to the light rain, the chirping and chattering of birds. They treat getting lost like a happy puzzle, as they ponder their maps while balancing atop river stones.
See below for a read aloud video of “The Hike”, by Alison Farrell