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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Into the Outdoors by Susan Gal

I almost missed this book while I was in such a hurry to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and 65 degree temps in Tennessee. Into the Outdoors by Susan Gal has appealing illustrations created using charcoal on paper and digital collage. Unusually for me, I didn’t care as much about the story as I did for its instructional applicability. What? Yes, this story does have a  family journeying into the great outdoors on a camping trip and exploring nature and it’s a sweet story.

BUT…. the best part is the author’s use of a huge number of prepositions and verbs. I was so impressed with the variety of prepositions that I had to run upstairs to the fourth grade hallway and show my teachers. Prepositions in action. Descriptive Phrases! In a story. Ms Anne D. my High School English teacher would have loved this author. Hmm? Maybe I need to get outside more myself?

The Book Faerie reviews Into the Outdoors at Journey of a Bookseller and warns the reader that not all outdoor animals (like bears) are our friends.

Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore describes Into the Outdoors.

Kirkus Reviews says Into the Outdoors is “An effervescent celebration of an overnight camping trip, with all the prepositions highlighted.”

Cindy Mitchell (or was it C. Peterson) writes on Kiss the Book “Great illustrations and a simple text that expresses a love for the outdoors.”

Joshua Whiting on the Granite Media page notes “The fun perspective changes and unwritten visual counterpoint of the bear, fox, and other creatures participating in the outdoor adventure will send young readers looking in the illustrations for more details. This is a deceptively simple book that rewards careful attention and repeated readings /viewings, and makes this reader want to go on a family adventure in the wild.” Aha! I totally missed that part about the perspective. Good call, Joshua!

I’d describe the illustrations, but I believe Sal does it so well in this review on Sal’s Fiction Addition:

“There is so much to see and appreciate about the charcoal on paper artwork, with the artist’s addition of collage elements. My eyes darted from one delightful image to the next. I know that young readers will do the same. Her use of light is inspiring and nowhere better than in the gentle glow of the night lantern that radiates from the tent in the forest’s darkness. “

Want your own copy? Be sure to order from Random House / Alfred A. Knopf ISBN: 978-0-375-96958-4

Have you ever seen this fine print on the verso page? “Random House Children’s Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.” WOW, Random House Children’s Books, you are a supporter of intellectual freedom and I tip my hat to you.