Written by Alison Farrell
The Hike follows El, Hattie, Wren, along with Bean the dog, on their nature journey. Each of the kids have a different way of enjoying their hike, including nature sketching and journaling, reading poetry, crafting with found materials, navigating with maps, and collecting loose nature items. When the hikers eat some thimbleberries, it’s a great chance to reinforce with your little explorers on why it is important to know which plants have edible berries before we try to eat them. Throughout the book, the illustrations include little details and discoveries on each page, such as happenings below the ground or evidence of wildlife, that build observation skills and curiosity about how the natural world works.
What kind of activities do your little ones enjoy? Do they like to draw pictures or collect loose items? Do they like to run and climb? Do they like to tell stories about what they saw and did? Can The Hike help inspire our personal and unique connections to our time in nature?
Read-aloud with Alison Farrell, author of The Hike, including a leaf basket crafting and drawing activity.
Reviewed by Danielle Forchette, Education Coordinator
Danielle Forchette has been the Education Coordinator with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy since 2018. In this role, she fosters partnerships with schools and education programs to support engaging youth in nature. Growing up in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, she has been enjoying the nature beauty and outdoor adventures in western PA since moving to Pittsburgh from Chicago.
The Allegheny County Nature Explorers program is a collaboration among Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA), Allegheny Land Trust and Allegheny County Parks. Through Nature Explorers Program, nature backpacks are available for families and educators to support inquiry-based learning in nature. Among the many Nature Backpack themes, the “water conservation” backpack includes binoculars and magnifying glass for observation; pH strips, temperature gun, ice cube tray, and an identification guide to freshwater macroinvertebrates; as well as a guide with activity suggestions and literacy connections, such as journaling prompts and book list. Nature backpacks are available through the Allegheny County Library system and searchable through the online Library Catalog– search for “nature backpack” to see all of the available themes.