Just a Walk – Book Review

Book Review
Just a Walk
Written by Jordan Wheeler
Illustrated by Christopher Auchter
Published in November 2009

Why we chose this book:
Theytus Books provided a review copy of this book when they provided a review copy of Zoe and the Fawn. As I've mentioned before, I am trying to increase my own awareness of books by First Nations authors, so I am pleased at this review opportunity. And T has had fun "reading" himself this book over and over.

Mom's Review
I cannot rap. But, just as with Little Blue Truck, the cadence and the rhymes flip a switch within me, and the next thing T knows, he is getting a dramatic musical rendition of Just a Walk. The meter of rhymed picture books makes or breaks it for me, and this one is pure fun! The content is humorous, the illustrations caricature-like and silly, and the read-aloud experience thoroughly enjoyable. At first, I had judged the book by the cover and the character's name. I'm not a particular fan of this style of art, and the only Chuck I've ever known was my grandfather; so, a strange combination in my mind at the outset.

Chuck, a little boy with two long braids (they save him from a perilous trip over a waterfall), goes on a walk. He begins by following a hawk, doesn't look where he is going, and lands in the river. It just gets worse from there. He can't swim. He is chased by a badger. The branch he climbs cracks. He is captured by an eagle. He eventually makes it back home – muddy, happy, and safe. The progression of Chuck's walk had T in stitches and me eager to turn the page and see what next peril awaited him. The illustrations grew on me; they are fitting to the exaggerated events of Just a Walk.

An all-around-fun book! I wish I could see all the animals Chuck encounters in Just a Walk. On second thought, maybe not. I don't want a badger to chase me up a tree or an eagle to drop me from the sky...

Son's Review
(Age: 4)
Mom: What was your favorite part?

Son: Like where the eagle's carrying Chuck. I like the picture.

Mom: What is the most important thing to know about Just a Walk?

Son: When Chuck gets picked up – that his butt shows in the book. Isn't it just a silly book?

Mom: Oh yeah! Does the walk sound fun?

Son: Yeah. Well, getting rained – that sounds funny. I mean riding a bear. That sounds fun, too.

Mom: Would you go on a walk with Chuck? What would you say to him?

Son: Yeah. I would. "Try not to get caught in a tree!"

A bit about Theytus Books:
"Theytus Books is a leading North American publisher of Indigenous voices...Theytus Books is proudly First Nations-owned and operated in partnership with the En'owkin Centre.

As the oldest Indigenous publishing house in Canada, Theytus Books is recognized and respected internationally for its contributions to Aborignial literature."– from "About Us" on theytus.com

I am so happy to have come across this publisher. We have found some new favorites among their publications.

Here's a link to their website: theytus.com


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