'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 19 November 2018

Review: Up the Mountain

Up the Mountain is a heartwarming story of friendship, wisdom, kindness and the circle of these things in life. It is set in a gorgeous and natural environment, following Mrs Badger’s weekly walk up a mountain called ‘the Sugar Loaf’. From the award-winning Canadian author-illustrator Marianne Dubuc who is known for many titles including The Lion and the Bird and Here Comes Mr Postmouse.

A wise Mrs Badger walks up the mountain every Sunday, over time she helps many friends in need, collects natural items and develops knowledge of the mountain. She knows plants and animals by name and has learnt nifty skills such as recognising the perfect mountain walking stick. One day she befriends a little cat named Leo who is interested in her weekly ritual and goes on to join her regularly. Mrs Badger shares much of her wisdom and know-how with Leo. Eventually, it is Leo who takes the lead and a kind-of circle of life takes effect.

A little longer than most picture books, Up the Mountain has 68 pages but it doesn’t feel lengthy, as it is spread out in a lovely way. The endearing text keeps you fixed on the story, anticipating what’s next, while gorgeous soft illustrations fill pages giving you space to breathe and observe finer details in the natural environment.

This story makes it easy to discuss kindness in a non-lecturing way with children. It has a lovely and simple ‘be kind and live a happy life’ message to convey.

Much like other books published by Book Island, this one has a beautiful quality feel, the pages are thick and strong, and like a special treasure, I sense it will be passed to friends and even down through generations. Overall the book feels like one to be loved, cherished and read time and time again.

Title: Book Island
Author: Marianne Dubuc
Illustrator:  Marianne Dubuc
Publisher: Book Island Limited, $24.99
Publication Date: 1 October 2018
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781911496090
For ages: 3 – 7
Type: Picture Book