Hi there! Welcome to the little corner of the internet where we share our favorite kids books - some new, some old. Here is an oldie classic from 1941 called Paddle-To-The-Sea by Holling C. Holling (I have some questions about the origins of the author's name. Holling Holling?? Interesting choice on the parents' part).
A Native American boy whittles a toy man sitting in a canoe out of a piece of wood (outdated-culture-note: the boy and the toy he makes are referred to as Indians. That isn't the preferred term today.) On the bottom of the toy canoe, he etches the words "I am Paddle-To-The-Sea. Please put me back in water." The boy sets his little adventurer to sail in the river by his house. The story follows the journey of Paddle-To-The-Sea as he makes it all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Each leg of his course is organized into separate chapters. Even though the story is lengthy, and there are chapters, there are still plenty of pictures to hold the attention of readers not quite ready for novels. Each page has colorful illustrations. This book reminds me of a "my-first-reader" version of other classic adventure stories like Swiss Family Robinson or Treasure Island. It has that free-spirited pioneer essence. The illustrations are so beautiful. You can see why this won the Caldecott medal.
In the 60s, this book inspired a short film, and I have included it below. Check it out!
Recommended age: 4-11
Here is the Paddle to the Sea short movie: