Hike

Hike
Pete Oswald
Walker Books

Wordless save for some environmental sounds and labels, this is a truly beautiful book. 

It begins one evening as a man bids goodnight to his child in a room littered with outdoor gear.

Next morning the father wakes the child who packs the gear into a rucksack, the two get into a jeep and head off from their city home into the countryside for the day.

We follow the two as they walk into the forest where they see wildlife aplenty, 

sharing in occasional small dramatic moments as the child copes with some scary challenges. 

The two stop to share snacks, take photos, enjoy the view and finally carry out the task they’ve come to perform – the planting of a sapling they’ve brought with them and the taking of a selfie beside it.

As dusk descends, they leave the woods and drive home. Once there, they don pyjamas, share some cookies and look through a photo album.

Totally immersive, this wonderfully heartwarming book, open to more than one interpretation, is one that needs slow and careful reading of every page: I love the variety of perspectives and the wealth of visual clues we’re given. I love too, how Oswald shows us the natural world through the lens of the close child/parent relationship. A special day and a special relationship. 

To sum it up, I’ll borrow the title of a very old song ‘Memories are made of this’.

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