Overview Reluctuant Nicky spends a wonderful summer with Grandma, who introduces him to the joy of rafting down the river near her home and watching the animals along the banks.
Inspired by various experiences from his childhood, Jim LaMarche, beloved illustrator of A Story for Bear and The Elves and the Shoemaker, brings this touching story about one boy's unexpected summer as a river rat to life with his bold, picturesque paintings.
Nicky isn't one bit happy about spending the summer with his grandma in the Wisconsin woods; he'd much rather be back in the city. He's not too thrilled about all the chores either--especially fishing. Before long, though, a raft appears in the nearby river, and it changes everything. As Nicky explores, the raft works a subtle magic on the obstinate young boy, opening up the wonders all around him: the animals of river and woods, his grandmother's humor and wisdom, and his own special talent as an artist.
This is a serene story about a summer in the woods, appreciating things--and people--in a whole new light, and discovering one's own talents. School Library Journal proclaimed, "this dazzling picture book is an artistic triumph." A note from the author describes the similarities between LaMarche's and Nicky's life.
Supports the Common Core State Standards
Awards and Recognitions The Raft by Jim LaMarche has received the following awards and recognitions -
Irma S. & James H. Black Award - 2000 Winner - Children's Literature category
Georgia Children's Book Award - 2003 Nominee - Picture Storybook category
Citations And Professional Reviews The Raft by Jim LaMarche has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2010 page 1401
PW Notes and Reprints - 06/03/2002 page 91
Publishers Weekly - 06/03/2002
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.25" Width: 11" Height: 0.2" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date May 28, 2002
ISBN 0064438562 ISBN13 9780064438568
Availability 0 units.
More About Jim LaMarche
Jim LaMarche is the award-winning illustrator of 12 picture books (including The Rainbabies by Laura Krauss Melmed) and the author-illustrator of two (The Raft and The Elves and the Shoemaker). He grew up in Kewaskum, Wisconsin, and now lives in California with his wife and three sons.
Jim LaMarche currently resides in Santa Cruz, in the state of California.
I love using this book in my class. After I read it aloud, I have all my students write down different events in the book. Then, I pass out 8 popsicle sticks to each student. On six of the sticks, they write down events from the story. Then they switch with a partner and put the events in chronological order. They glue their six sticks together in order side to side, with two additional sticks glued under them (holding them together) - creating their own raft. They love it.
Magic of the Natural World Dec 21, 2007
I first encountered this book at the school where I teach. The children were captured by the story of this little boy who, at first, didn't want to be out in the country but who quickly became enamored with nature as it, it seems, was enamored with him. The pictures are beautiful. My students wanted to eat up every page and see everything in every picture. They understood just what he was going through and felt the same way about their journeys into nature. This book is a beautiful, gentle and simple reminder of the loving magic that comes from a relationship with the natural world. It's incredibly moving to witness the inner landscape of this little boy changing as he spends more time outside. If you wish that for your children, or whomever you are shopping for, I highly recommend this book. (Or a car ride to the nearest mountain lake.)
Nice Story May 1, 2007
This is such a nice (feel good) story about a boy discovering his love of drawing and his relationship with his grandmother, who is also an artist. My two year old will sit and listen to this story, although it is probably meant for children a little older (3 and up). I have read a lot bad children's books, but this one is a winner.
Great for kids ages 6-100 Oct 25, 2005
It's a excellent book. You can imagine it really happening well you read it. It is a wonderful fast moving story. lydia and Hannah age 7 and 10
Wonderful images, flat story Nov 13, 2003
As a native of Wisconsin, I had much interest in the story of a boy, his grandmother, and wildlife on a Wisconsin river. The illustrations, admittedly the author's strong suit, were strong indeed. The images were of such excellent quality that they almost made the book worthwhile. The beginning of the story held promise, but ended up spending beyond its means into imagination. Either a story of the boy visiting his grandmother for the summer and experiencing adventure on the river, or an imaginary tale of prolific so-close-you-could-touch-it wildlife would have been good. Neither was completed, and the resulting combination left me feeling flat. The experts, my two and five year-old grandchildren lost interest before the book was halfway through. Maybe for children a little bit older? I wish hope Mr. LaMarche to continue to illustrate, and a story-teller to author the books.