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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Up the Mountain
by Marianne Dubuc
Age Range: 6-8
Every Sunday Mrs Badger takes a walk up the mountain near her house. She prides herself on knowing the name of every animal and every plant along the way and always helps anyone in need. On one particular Sunday she comes across a rather shy and timid cat called Leo, who is eager to reach the top of Sugarloaf Peak. Lacking in confidence he is encouraged by Mrs Badger to join her on the first of their many treks together. As their friendship develops and the seasons pass what will happen when Mrs Badger is too old to continue her walks with Leo?
Here is another gentle tale from Canadian author/illustrator Marianne Dubuc, translated by Sarah Ardizzone. Similar in tone to The Lion and the Bird, this is a story about friendship, the wonders of nature and the passage of time. The detailed illustrations in an earthy, primary palette with coloured pencils and watercolour washes, capture the kindness and generosity of Mrs Badger, the inquisitive Leo as well as the beautiful natural surroundings. The small sections of hand-lettered text also add to its charm.
There is plenty of detail for children to pour over in this alluring picture book and the intricate detail of the illustration make it one that can be looked at again and again. Other Dubuc titles are: The Lion and the Bird (2015), Here Comes Mr Postmouse (2016) and Mr Postmouse Goes on Holiday (2017).