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Into the Outdoorsby Susan Gal
Synopses & Reviews
In Susan Gal's delightful young-concept book, a family travels up a mountain, over a bridge, and under a canopy of trees to reach their campsite in the great outdoors. A forest hike offers more opportunities to showcase words that describe spacial relationships and show young readers where they are in the world. Beside a lake! Next to a waterfall! On top of a mountain! Then after the sun slips behind the hills, they'll snuggle alongside each other and dream sweet dreams inside their tent among the trees.
Gal's pictures capture all the beauty of the natural world. And she's included a humorous cast of animal characters on a parallel journey of their own, so the art is full of funny things to spot.
This is a gem of a story for parents and teachers to share with their happy campers.
"Like her previous two picture books, Night Lights and Take Me for a Walk!, Gal's third offering takes particular delight in the pleasures to be had outside, as a family of four packs up its woodie station wagon and literally heads for the hills on a camping trip. The artwork — rough charcoal shapes augmented with digital collages — is gleefully retro in its muddy palette of browns and green, the characters' vintage outfits (hats for everyone!), and the Mary Blair quality to the friendly wildlife the family meets. The whole project has the feel of a storyboard for a mid-century filmstrip about getting back to nature. It's also an exercise in language, as Gal uses the journey to contextualize several prepositions: 'We pitch our tent among the trees and set off along the hiking trail.' Naturalism isn't the chief goal (the toddler in the family befriends a smiling bear), yet Gal's attention to light, especially the way it filters through the trees, and her ability to evoke the serenity of the forest result in an idealized ode to the wild green yonder. Ages 5 — 9." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
SUSAN GAL began her illustration career as a poster and calendar artist. She then worked as an "actor with a pencil" for Disney Animation before returning to her native California to create fun and whimsical illustrations. You can read more about Susan at galgirlstudio.com.
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