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The Raft

by Jim LaMarche

Published by HarperCollins, 2000
40 pages
ISBN: 0-688-13977-9

Ages 5 - 9

At first Nicky isn't excited about spending the summer with his grandma in the Wisconsin woods, but he changes his mind after discovering an old raft in the water near her cottage. He soon realizes that his grandparent is marvelously unconventional in unexpected ways. Being a solitary artist among her other gifts and talents as an independent spirit, Grandma allows Nicky to ease into what he will enjoy in his own way. When he learns to pole the raft, Nicky notices faded images of birds and animals on it. He begins to realize the variety of wildlife moving nearby in the water and along the shore by day and also by night. Later on, his grandma provides art materials so the boy can sketch what he observes. LaMarche grew up in Wisconsin and had the pleasure of a similar experience while he was a boy. His exquisite paintings illustrating this handsome, singular story evoke a quiet, secluded Wisconsin river during summertime and encourage more than one type of observation. CCBC categories: Picture Books for Older Children. (GMK; July 10) 2000 Cooperative Children's Book Center


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