I love Book Island’s style – the quality of their physical books, the subtle illustrations and quirky typefaces. But just like Emmett and Caleb another Book Island gem that I have reviewed recently, Up the Mountain’s power is in the thought-provoking and inspiring story – one that brought a tear to my eye.
In this story, it is Mrs Badger that goes up the mountain – every Sunday as she has done for a very long time. One particular day she meets Leo, a young cat who is unsure if he can make it up the mountain too, although he very much wants to. Mrs Badger uses some clever reverse psychology and convinces Leo to come along and he is soon in his element.
Mrs Badger teaches Leo (and by default the reader) all about nature, about friendship and manners, and about appreciating the wonder of our world. She does this in a kind and sharing way, using rich vocabulary (she is a poet, after all!). She encourages Leo (and the reader) to embrace the choices that life throws at us and listen to our hearts when it comes to decisions.
Leo and Mrs Badger make friends with each other and with the other creatures on their regular walks and for a time everyone is content.
But Mrs Badger is very old and she has a lot more to teach Leo and not much time left. Will he learn enough, and what will he do with his new knowledge and skills?
Marianne Dubuc has also created the illustrations, which both complement the story and act as diagrams to illustrate Mrs Badger’s lessons. I particularly like the page showing what makes a perfect walking stick!