When Axel's dog, Grits, is left stranded after following two climbers up a mountain trail, danger is imminent as a lightning storm threatens. Kaboom! Can Axel, with the help of his dad, make the difficult climb up Cathedral Wall to rescue Grits before it's too late?
Wendell Minor's spectacular paintings capture the great outdoors of the Teton Mountains, while acclaimed children's book author Jean Craighead George tells the compelling story of one boy's mountain-climbing adventure.
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Jean Craighead George wrote over one hundred books for children and young adults. Her novel Julie of the Wolves won the Newbery Medal in 1973, and she received a 1960 Newbery Honor for My Side of the Mountain. She continued to write acclaimed picture books that celebrate the natural world. Her other books with Wendell Minor include The Wolves Are Back; Luck; Everglades; Arctic Son; Morning, Noon, and Night; and Galapagos George.
Wendell Minor has illustrated numerous award-winning picture books, including Reaching for the Moon by Buzz Aldrin, Galapagos George by Jean Craighead George, and If You Were a Panda Bear by his wife, Florence Minor. Mr. Minor's art has been exhibited at the Norman Rockwell Museum, among other prestigious institutions throughout the country. He lives in rural Connecticut with Florence and their two cats.From Publishers Weekly:
George offers an up-close, nail-bitingly dramatic look at the sport of rock-climbing in this picture book adventure, but her unlikely plot scuttles the outing. Young Axel's dog, Grits, is stranded on a mountain ledge as a thunderstorm approaches. Under the supervision of his father, the leader of the climbing school, Axel braves the elements to rescue his pet. George has the lingo down pat, and infuses the tale with tension but therein lies the problem. Dag, Axel's father, calls a halt to the climb, but Axel goes ahead anyway (Dag had no choice, George ventures rather limply. His son was climbing). Axel reaches the dog just in time (Crackling electricity lifted the hair straight up on Axel's head and arms.... Sparks snapped from his ears to the rocks), but he faces even graver danger on his descent (No nut, carabiner, or rope was there to save him if he made a mistake). It's hard to imagine any adult allowing a child to risk his life in this manner, no matter how beloved the pet, and, in a picture book, this behavior seems implausible at best. Minor serves up a series of realistic action shots that capture the athleticism of the sport but are not always believable most notably, the picture showing the crackling electricity presents the boy and dog as relaxed and smiling even as the sparks fly. Ages 4-7.
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