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Reviewed in the United States on September 19, 2021
Many years ago my husband and I, my best friend from college and her husband traveled to Arches National Park. It was a repeat trip for our friends (they’d actually been there several times and were avid hikers) and a first for us. In fact, it was our first hiking experience in the west. We had gone on many hikes in the midwest and even in the forests of the northwest, but we’d never trudged over rocks, through canyons, along ledges and squeezed between rocky walls and all in the desert conditions of Utah.
This book, the latest in the acclaimed OVER AND UNDER series, brought all of those memories flooding back. The vivid descriptions brought back the thrill of those hikes, along with the fears. Just as our little boy does, I climbed rugged trails, saw desert animals (including signs to watch for rattlesnakes!), heard unusual sounds and felt loneliness. Our little boy and his mom spend a joyful, but extraordinarily hot day, as we did, climbing from rock to rock, hiking between tall walls and struggling to find some promised shelter from the desert sun. Along the way, our duo encounters mountain goats, geckos, snakes, tarantulas and even a road runner. Happily, they arrive in the bottom of the canyon to discover wild flowers, cactus, cooler air and best of all, Dad waiting for them in their tent with dinner ready.
You and your family will discover many secrets of the rocky canyon as you read this book together. Happily, the back matter is full of lots of information about every animal mentioned in the story, many of which are probably new to your kids, as well as some useful websites. Don’t be surprised if you find yourselves planning a hiking trip to a canyon very soon!