by Julie Danneberg, Illustrated by Jamie Hogan
TUMBLING, RUMBLING, TWISTING, MISTING, FOAMING, THUNDERING waterfall.
Conservationist and naturalist John Muir steps outside his cabin in California's Yosemite Valley on a moonlit April night in 1871. Admiring the beauty of the nearby upper Yosemite Falls, he moves closer and closer to the waterfall until he reaches Fern Ledge. A gust of wind lifts the water away from the rock and John scoots behind the fall, with the rumbling of the powerful water pounding in his chest. Suddenly the wind stops and John finds himself pinned against the mountain. How will he escape the pounding, thundering hold that the water has on him?
Jamie Hogan's beautiful pastel pencil illustrations capture the tranquility and majesty of John Muir's surroundings in Yosemite Valley. Secondary text provides more detail on Muir's life. Information about Muir and the Yosemite Valley, a list for further reading, a bibliography, and an archival photo of Muir are included as backmatter.
Target age: 4-8
"This attractive picture book retells naturalist and writer John Muir's climb up a steep trail behind a waterfall along Yosemite Falls in April 1871. Danneberg includes information about Muir's love of the outdoors, his house in Yosemite (where he slept in a hammock that hung over an indoor spring), and his exploration of the park's natural setting. Lucid descriptions and the use of the present tense make the story immediate and relevant. Hogan's expressive renderings of the explorer's face are the highlight of this book, depicting the excitement and awe that Muir experienced standing beneath the falls. Many pages include supplemental information about the man and his love of nature. Quotations used in the text are cited, along with suggested readings and pertinent websites. VERDICT This is a solid work, ideal for those looking to add to collections or units on environmental studies, geography, writing, or biography and sure to inspire further interest in Muir." -School Library Journal