Tuesday, December 1

bookshelf -paddle to the sea

Holling C. Holling’s beloved Caldecott-awarded children’s book was originally published in 1941, still Paddle-to-the-Sea was new to us (thank you Somerville children's librarian Kathy).

Long/short; an Indian boy in the Canadian wilderness carves an Indian figure in a 12-inch canoe that he names Paddle-to-the-Sea. Wishing that he could undertake a journey to the Atlantic Ocean, the boy sends the toy carving instead. Paddle-to-the-Sea begins on a snow bank near a river that eventually leads him to the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, and finally the Atlantic Ocean. You get the spring thaw, a river drive, saw mills, tricks to remember the shapes of all the Great Lakes, a ride over Niagra Falls...

Each page has about 20-30 lines of text and is faced by Holling's color illustrations. Lots of unintentional learning along the way... great find.

The live action film directed by Bill Mason has been restored by the Janus arm of Criterion, nae bad. Scratchy version of it below.

[Update; vintage Paddle-to-the-Sea teaching kit, produced by the Boston Childrens Museum, sent in by Ben Durrell. Wonder what's inside...]