On Our Shelves Now or Recently
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.
About the Author
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.
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