A Porcupine’s Promenade: An Encounter in the Winter Woods, by Lyn Smith | Dedicated Review
Review sponsored by Maine Authors Publishing
The Children’s Book Review | June 16, 2017
Written by Lyn Smith
Illustrated by Jamie Hogan
Age Range: 4-8
Paperback: 25 pages
Publisher: Maine Authors Publishing (2016)
What to expect: Nature, winter and snow, exploration, wildlife
A child puts on his snowshoes and goes for a walk in the forest outside his home. Two bright eyes shine out of a hollow at the base of a hemlock tree. It’s a porcupine. The young boy and his curiosity about this prickly animal lead readers on an excursion founded on respect and a love of nature.
Author Lyn Smith’s prose is precise and poetic. It brings the quiet sounds of nature to life as readers can easily imagine the sounds between words. Onomatopoeia is put perfectly to use. As snowshoes push and pack the snow: “Pflump, Pflump, Pflump.” As the child follows the porcupine into the valley: “Whoosh, Whoosh, Whoosh.” As the porcupine warns the child not to move any closer: “Tchic – ttt – Tchic – ttt – Tchic – ttt – Tchick.”
Beautifully painted illustrations compliment every page of text. The bright orange-red hue of the child’s winter jacket and hat bring warmth to the soft wintery colors. Wide-angle shots that showcase the scenery draw readers into the landscape and the story. And then … quick close-ups that have the porcupine’s face filling up an entire page provide a brilliant juxtaposition, reminding readers to pull back and provide space for the animal—the reader feels as though they are in the child’s shoes, or snowshoes, to be exact. This is a very pretty picture book right down to the endpapers covered with floating specimens of pinecones and pine needles.
The book is well designed and printed on glossy thick paper with text that sometimes descends down the page begging to be read with care, or more slowly, just as a porcupine moves, enhancing the reading experience.
A Porcupine’s Promenade: An Encounter in the Winter Woods is a delightfully quiet book that is bound to captivate children and adults alike, especially those that enjoy all that nature has to offer. Highly Recommended.
About the Author
Lyn Smith holds a M.Ed. in Literacy and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Reading Education. She began her career as a kindergarten teacher and has since worked as an educational administrator and an adjunct faculty member at a local community college, as well as providing classroom reading/writing instructional supports as a literacy coach in Portland, Maine. She is currently an instructional strategist/reading specialist at Kennebunk Elementary School.
Lyn divides her time between trail walks in the nearby nature preserves and the sandy beaches near her home.
For more information, visit:www.lyn-smith.com
About the Illustrator
Jamie Hogan teaches illustration at Maine College of Art and is the award-winning illustrator of Rickshaw Girl, A Warmer World, and Here Come the Humpbacks! She grew up hiking and skiing in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, never once spying a porcupine, and now lives on an island off the coast of Maine with her husband and daughter.
For more information, visit:www.jamiehogan.com
You can also visit: www.maineauthorspublishing.com
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. Maine Authors Publishing, the publisher of ‘A Porcupine’s Promenade: An Encounter in the Winter Woods,’ by Lyn Smith, sponsored this non-biased review. Learn more about getting a book review …