Kirkus Review


Two children enjoy a challenging hiking adventure with their parents.

In this informative and entertaining debut picture book for elementary school students, Alice (the story’s first-person narrator) and her younger brother, Jack, learn that their parents intend to take them on a hiking trip into the Grand Canyon. During four months of preparation, Mom and Dad enlist them in the planning. To help acclimate the group for the arduous climb, the White family takes daytime “practice hikes.” The four also go on a local overnight hiking trip to experience using their new gear and setting up camp. The rest of the tale focuses on the Grand Canyon adventure through Alice’s eyes. She learns about its history and culture, stargazes, crosses over the rushing Colorado River, meets other campers and a mule train, and traverses steep switchbacks to the bottom of the canyon and back up again. A notably polished collaboration between mother-and-daughter authors Schweitzer and Graves and illustrator Robinson, this simple but well-conceived story is framed around useful tips for safe, fun family outdoor trips, from the importance of planning and practice hikes to the value of protective gear for sudden changes in weather and “one step at a time” encouragement if a young adventurer becomes anxious. Robinson’s deft illustrations are colorful, illuminating, and lively, and the large, clear text is perfect for young readers. The aftermatter includes facts about Grand Canyon National Park and a resource bibliography.

Appealing storytelling conveys the importance of preparation and awareness for young hikers.