The Path

minedition. Apr. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781662650635.
K-Gr 4–Dramatic landscapes are employed to show a solitary figure—a small child—wandering through fields of flowers and over gentle hills, but also through dark forests, over raging rivers, and through mud and swamps. A dark cave seems like an unfortunate end point, but Staake is sure to show his character emerging into sunlight, facing a new set of divergent paths. “How will you know which way to go?” he asks, and then assures his readers that the answer lies within them, allowing them to confidently continue on a path that others may have traveled, but that will be uniquely their own. The use of distinct color schemes for each page amplifies the message of this philosophical concept book: Every life demands many different decisions, leading to circumstances that are at times pleasant and at times difficult. Younger children may view the journey in a concrete way, relating to the physical characteristics of the various natural settings. Older children will be able to interpret the figurative language and appreciate the greater wisdom of this gentle, seemingly simple tale.
VERDICT An extremely inspiring story about life’s twists and turns that will have universal appeal.

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