Up North at the Cabin

by Marsha Wilson Chall and Steve Johnson

Chall and Johnson successfully pinpoint the experiences of many who regularly vacation... read more

Chall and Johnson successfully pinpoint the experiences of many who regularly vacation "up north," using the idea of memory so apt for their subject. "...I know the way by heart: / past the big walleye statue on Lake Mille Lacs, / a few more miles to the Live Deer Park, / till all the trees are birch and pine / and houses are made from logs that look like shiny pretzels...", a girl says as she anticipates another summer at a family cottage. She thinks of herself as a smart angler (fishing), a great gray dolphin (diving), a fearless voyager (portaging with a canoe) and a daredevil (waterskiing). This non-Indian child realizes that the Ojibway people were once the only inhabitants of this woods-and-lakes region enjoyed today by others. The specificity of Johnson's 14 full-color paintings add immediacy, clarifying Chall's skillfully employed figurative language; his art is also noteworthy in its interpretations of various types of summer light. (Ages 4-9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1992

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