Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Canoe Season

The weather is finally warming up and with it comes of the promise of closer communing with nature. I used to live near a lake where I could going kayaking in observant solitude. I'd bring my writer's notebook and jot down the color of the sky, the smell of the marsh, the way the light shone on the duck's feathers. So peaceful and serene.

These two selections highlight that feeling and both take place in a canoe. Whether on the water or in the woods, I hope you find time to get back to nature. Enjoy!

Sleepy River by Hanna Bandes; Illustrated by Jeanette Winter (Philomel Books, 1993) - I love the connection between mother and child as she shares the wonder of night fall near their village. Rich with literary elements, such as onomatopoeia and alliteration, this book begs to be read aloud. While this book feels hushed, mirroring the end of the day, it is also full of animation as wildlife hunt and congregate in the dusk. When darkness falls, another world wakes and is full of life. The book closes with a lullaby: The sleek canoe slips to the shore, stars sing a silent symphony." Unfortunately, this gem is out-of-print. Hopefully your library has it!

Canoe Days by Gary Paulsen; Illustrated by Ruth Wright Paulsen (Dragonfly Books, 1999) - Peace. Stillness. Quiet. Nature observation at its best.  Paulsen's poetic language draws the reader onto the lake with him and his canoe.  My favorite line?  "The water is a window into the skylake."  The accompanying illustration perfectly captures the mirror image of the lake's edge in the glassy water. Step into this silent canoe day and be rewarded with nature's wonders.

1 comment:

  1. When our river is up we get canoes and kayaks floating by. I've never been in a boat before. It looks like a fun thing to do. Canoe Days is a favorite at my school. Sleepy River looks quite nice. Thanks for sharing these lovely books!