Up the Mountain Path by Marianne Dubuc

Up the Mountain Path 
Review Copy from 
Up the Mountain Path is a quiet picture book, a beautiful picture book and one that adults might find bittersweet, but the overall message will resonate with little listeners/readers. Up the Mountain Path is a book about connection, connection between friends and a connection with the natural world, both of which bring the characters peace and comfort. Mrs. Badger is very old, her house at the foot of a small mountain. Every Sunday, Mrs. Badger hikes to Sugarloaf Peak at the top of the mountain, collecting things, sometimes treasures for herself, sometimes for her friends, as she goes. One day, she realizes she has a shadow and invites Lulu, a young cat, to share her snack as she sits on a log. It turns out Lulu would very much like to hike to the top of the mountain but she thinks she is to small. Mrs. Badger gently reassures her without pressuring her and together they continue the trek up the mountain. Along the way, Mrs. Badger teaches Lulu little things about the natural world, stopping to find just the right walking sticks to make the climb easier. Mrs. Badger encourages, teaches, philosophizes, composes poetry and introduces Lulu to her friends as they hike onward.

Once at the top of Sugarloaf Peak, they take it all in, silently. From that day on, every Sunday, they climb the mountain together - until the day Mrs. Badger doesn't have the strength to make the climb. She tells Lulu to go by herself, and she does. It's not quite the same, but she carries everything she learned from Mrs. Badger with her and returns with new treasures for her. Over time, "Mrs. Badger's mountain became Lulu's mountain," until one day, Lulu finds she has a shadow.
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