Oswald, Pete. Hike. Pete Oswald, Illus. Picture Book. Candlewick, 03/2020. pp. $17.99. 978-1-5362-0157-4. OUTSTANDING. GRADES K-3.
Hike is a beautiful wordless picture book that chronicles a day spent between a father and his child as they adventure through the wilderness to honor a long-held family tradition. The story perfectly captures the loving bond between parent and child, and the awe and wonder found in nature. Pete Oswald has done a particularly exceptional job with these digitally drawn illustrations. His use of muted pastel tones are perfect for depicting the calm, colorful beauty of the great outdoors, and each illustration is packed full of hidden treasures. Even seemingly mundane moments like zipping up a jacket, eating trail mix, and feeding the cat are drawn with care, and it is in small mindful moments like these where the story truly comes alive on the page. The child and the father both have brown skin and black hair, and the child has cheek-length hair and wears pink, red, tan, and yellow throughout the book. Young readers with a love for nature and art are sure to return to this book again and again, making it a must-have addition to a picture book collection.
Julia Wright, Alameda County Library