The Boy and the Mountain

Tundra. Jun. 2022. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780735270251.
PreS-Gr 2–This exercise in perspective opens with a young boy trying to draw the mountain he views from his window each day. Despite the details he adds to his drawings of the mountain, such as trees and a sky, he is never satisfied with his renderings—the spirit of his subject evades him. So, as any dedicated artist would do, he sets out on a hike to draw his mountain en plein air. As he ascends, he encounters a goat, a stream, some leaves, and trees—all worthy subjects for his sketchbook. After reaching the peak, he looks at his sketches and finds that there is still something missing. He peers over his sketchbook to see all of the critter friends he has accumulated on his hike, and they have a big adventure making their way down the mountain. Just before bedtime, he draws one last sketch, a self-portrait with all of his new friends, and at last captures the essence of his elusive subject. Coppo’s minimalist illustrations have a traditionally Scandinavian style in their layout, palette, and functionality. The grid of the graph paper is an effective visual tool that distinguishes the sketches from the scenes as the hand is identical in both. Despite the simplicity of the character illustration, Coppo captures a wide range of emotions.
VERDICT A sweet story about the depth of what a beautiful place can provide beyond its beauty. A recommended purchase for most collections.

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