Monday, March 9, 2015
INTO THE OUTDOORS by Susan Gal
Author: Susan Gal
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
If you went camping as a kid, the illustrations in this wonderful book will bring back memories of those endearing days of old. The inner title page features a scene depicting a family of four packing up an old station wagon (ours was blue, sans wood paneling) complete with a strapped down, tarp covered load on the roof.
In Into the Outdoors, once the happy family has traveled to their camping destination and set up camp, they embark on a adventurous hike around a lake, over a stream and up a mountain. They are secretly escorted on their hike by a very gentle and curious pack of local wildlife. Of course, in my own real life experience, me and my five siblings would be scared sh*tless if we were ever to know that a fox and bear were stalking us along the trail.
But not to worry, my Dad was excellent at keeping us close. He would throw a stick or rock into the bush along the trail just ahead of us and cry out, "What was that? Was that a bear?" in an innocent and merciful attempt to remind us to be aware of our surroundings.
Besides, we kids knew that if we were too far out front in line on the trail, it only drew the ire of our father because, apparently, he "couldn't see us" and we were quickly expelled to the back of the line behind Mom - which was a terrible place to be for a competitive, adventure seeking, energetic young kid - never mind being stalked by a hungry old bear.
For some reason, my Dad loved to hike.
Into the Outdoors is also a concept book. It highlights the use of prepositions (around, over, through..etc) by accentuating those particular words throughout the story. Brilliant.
Great for one-on-one story time.
The Art: Charcoal on paper and digital collage. An earthy, warm and scenic composite.