Nicky has to spend the summer with his grandmother, an artist living on a river. Nicky is not happy about having to be there away from his father. But he has no choice. He does chores for his grandmother and then begrudgingly heads off to fish or do some activity that she has set up for him. Before long, a raft comes to him on the river, and thus begins the summer of adventures for Nicky, He finds new worlds in nature, in art, in his grandmother. It’s an especially fine story based on various real-life experiences of Mr. LaMarche’s boyhood. He then gives them back to us in The Raft. The drawings are soft and detailed of life on the river, Nicky up close and far off on the raft, animals drawn so beautifully real. They are done in a soft mixed-media paintings and are worth the slow reread just to look at every bird and fox and raccoon.
Awards for The Raft
- Irma S. and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature
- Texas Bluebonnet Award 2002-2003 finalist
- An IRA Teachers’ Choice
- IRA/CBC Teachers’ Choice
Jim LaMarche wrote and illustrated The Raft. He also illustrated Little Oh and The Rainbabies, both by Laura Krauss Melmed. He lives in Santa Cruz, California.
His biography is @ HarperCollins:
- ISBN-13: 9780064438568
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date: May 28, 2002
- Edition: Reprint
- Pages: 40
- Product dimensions: 11.00 x 9.25 (h) x 0.09 (d)
Original review by me August, 2013