Title: The Adventures of a Girl & Her Dog in the Mountains
Author: Dagny McKinley
Illustrator: Ostap Stetsiv
Publisher/Year: Undiscovered Earth Publications/2012
Favorite Line: The girl’s soul lived in the mountains where trees grow into the clouds.
A barefooted young girl and her dog explore the wonders of nature that surround their home in the mountains. They spend all day outside playing, inspecting, observing, relaxing, and enjoying their natural world. They pick flowers, drink from streams, listen to the quiet sounds, get dirty, and breathe in the fresh air. They feel content. They feel happy. They feel at home.
The Adventures of a Girl & Her Dog in the Mountains is a super sweet ode to nature. The text is lyrical, almost like a song. It’s quiet, like the country life it portrays. Yet, author Dagny McKinley’s affinity for the outdoors, her love of nature, comes through strong and clear. Ostap Stetsiv’s illustrations are vibrant and lovely, conveying a world in which, if you were to step into the book, you could hear the crickets chirping and the birds singing. Maybe you would even feel the breeze on your skin.
I was immediately drawn to this book because I can’t resist picture books about dogs. (I’ve mentioned before that my own dog inspires much of my writing.) But after reading the story, I find myself drawn more to the girl, who, even though we get to know her through her interactions with her dog and with nature, still feels like a bit of a mystery to me. Who is this girl? Why does she live in the mountains? Who are her parents? I want to know more about her and I think kids will be curious too. Perhaps we’ll discover more in McKinley and Stetsiv’s next book The Adventures of a Girl & Her Dog in the Snow.