Jim LaMarche The Raft

ISBN 13: 9780064438568

The Raft

4.37 avg rating
( 599 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780064438568: The Raft

Inspired in part by his own childhood, this gorgeous picture book from Jim LaMarche, the beloved illustrator of A Story for Bear and The Elves and the Shoemaker, tells the story of one stubborn boy’s unexpectedly wonderful summer on the river.

This is an imagination-sparking story about appreciating the simple, natural joys of the world and the people in it, and about discovering and exploring one’s own talents. School Library Journal proclaimed, “This dazzling picture book is an artistic triumph.” The author’s note describes the similarities between his own life and the life of his protagonist.

Nicky is convinced that his summer with his grandmother in the Wisconsin woods is going to be the worst summer ever. She cooks food that he doesn’t like, there’s an art studio where her living room should be, and he’s expected to do chores—including fishing, the most boring chore ever.

But one afternoon, while Nicky is trying to catch their dinner, a raft drifts down the river towards him. The raft has a calming magic about it, affecting both Nicky and the wildlife of the river and woods. Through the raft and the adventures it brings him on, Nicky finds new common ground with his grandmother, a fellow river rat, who encourages him to explore his newfound talent for art.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Imagine passing a summer drifting up and down a slow-moving river, watching as cranes, turtles, raccoons, otters, and ducks grow accustomed to your presence. Envision days spent poling the raft through lily pads and grasses, glimpsing foxes through the trees on shore. On hot, sticky nights, picture a tent set up on the raft, from which you have an unobstructed view of huge bucks drinking from the moonlit river. Nicky has no idea what he's getting into when his father drops him off for the summer at his grandmother's cottage in the woods. And he's not especially pleased at the prospect. "There's nobody to play with ... She doesn't even have a TV." But this "river rat" is not the normal kind of grandma. Without pushing, she quietly allows Nicky to discover for himself the wonders of river life. Gradually, Nicky's interest in drawing the wildlife he sees brings him closer to his artist grandmother, and to an inner peace that looks as though it will last for a lifetime.

Jim LaMarche draws on his own childhood summer experiences for this lovely, serene story. As the light and weather change through the summer, the river reflects all the beauty of the season. LaMarche has illustrated many remarkable and award-winning picture books, including the magical Little Oh and The Rainbabies. (Ages 4 to 9) --Emilie Coulter

From the Back Cover:

A flock of birds was moving toward me along the river, hovering over something floating on the water. It drifteddownstream, closer and closer, until finally it bumped up against the dock. Though it was covered with leaves and branches, now I could tell that it was a raft. I reached down and pushed some of the leaves aside. Beneath them was a drawing of a rabbit. It looked like those ancient cave paintings I'd seen in books--just outlines, but wild and fast and free.

Nicky isn't one bit happy about spending the summer with his grandma in the Wisconsin woods, but them the raft appears and changes everything. As Nicky explores, the raft works a subtle magic, opening up the wonders all around him--the animals of river and woods, his grandmother's humor and wisdom, and his own special talent as an artist.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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